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Evolution of Confusion

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Evolution of Confusion  (File photo)

Two Nations for one People

“History is what our ancestors made and what they wished to do then affected what they did. What we wish to have will affect what we do now. The future we are yet to enter will be history in no time and what we plan now and allow to happen will make the future generations curse us or praise.”

What the Chief Minister of the Northern Province said is his right to think the way he wishes and express himself. The question is raised not against his right, but the negative signals it can generate. For him it could have been just being honest. In a society where all have learned to respect and tolerate each other it would not have caused any problems. It is the context which matters here. By such a saying, he would have become a hero for those who have been made to hate Singhalese as nothing  good will be seen in them, Worse is that it gives enough reasons for Singhalese to suspect the intensions, widening the gap. Anyway, the damage was done, that too by a person who was considered to have been a man of judgment.

Effect on common people
Common people of the North had a very simple way out all the time. All the brothers of a family would go out from the village seeking their future elsewhere leaving one brother to look after the family property. Those who made money outside lived among the Singhalese people who never ill-treated them and their families back home were looked after. Singhalese did not stop those from buying property and settling among them and there were inter – marriages even. How many Singhalese worked for Tamil entrepreneurs? All those who came out saved enough to give their sisters in marriage who finally settled down in Sinhala areas.
What the Northern farmers produced had a ready market in Sinhala areas and everything blended well. Tamil people could settle down in any area in Sri Lanka compared to the fact that it was only a handful, who had property in Tamil areas. But, Singhalese never grumbled about that.

Singhalese Buddhists went on their pilgrimages to places of worship in the North and the Northern Devotees made those long treks all the way on foot to visit places like Kataragama and Munneswaram. Buddhists pay homage to Hindu Gods and it was a wonderful environment.

What the common man, be it a Tamil or a Singhalese or a Muslim wants is peace and freedom to live safely, only. After that cruel and agonizing war, more and more Tamil people started coming down to Sinhala areas and finding their livelihood in factories as well as in construction sites. It was beautifully becoming normal and settled.

Now an exceptionally educated and supposed to be an enlightened man like the Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council has uttered something, in spite of living in the middle of the ‘monstrous’ Singhalese , shows his hand that he does not wish to see that the people in this country live in peace.

Extremist politicians
While the extremist Tamil Politicians did not want to allow common Tamil people to be with the majority Singhalese they always promoted the differences to be highlighted to find more reasons to keep them aloof and away. In their innocence the common people did not bother as their kith and kin thrived in the Sinhala majority areas. For them voting one political leader once in few years was not a deciding factor.

However, when ‘Sinhala only’ came more reasons were provided for extremist politicians to show how and why they were right and that way they could become more convincing. A simple village farmer getting a government letter in Sinhala naturally became a reason to be annoyed. For them, they got another reason to feel that they have been insulted. Universities became another situation of disparity. Although large numbers pursued education in Tamil medium, what were their chances of getting a stable future? So, the Tamil extremist politicians had reasons to address the educated youth. All pointed towards one word - discrimination.

By the nature of the political and the electoral system, Singhalese majority became the king making voter base. But there also, the common man’s lot was not different. They were important only for voting. They had no choice, but to retaliate once in few years on trivial issues. As a section which was more fortunate, unlike their Tamil brethren, they had a better chance in changing governments at least once in a while.

Like their brethren in Tamil areas, Singhalese common people were also at the receiving end and the politicians did things in their pathetic capacities to find solutions. The absence of an effective and serious bureaucracy made it worse. There were no national program for economic development and a suitable national program for human resources development and therefore, common people of both Singhalese and Tamils faced the same fate.

Suspicions and hatred
As the Singhalese had more opportunities due to their background, they had the option of changing one party from ruling at least, but the Tamil people had no solutions to their problems which were mainly economical, leading to desperation. All the Tamils were made to believe that they had been compelled to suffer like that due to Singhalese and the emphasis was that they had no choice.

As it became evident that the Tamil Leaders were ineffective as their ways could never bring in results it became the beginning of the drastic measures by the Tamil activists but by that time all the reasoning had gone astray. It was interpreted as one solution only. The time became ripe for propagating the separation sentiments.

Although such started in a small way in the early part of the last century, the fact that both Tamils and Singhalese had one master – the British, the common Tamil people were not affected and all the political agitations became the vogue among the educated Tamil people who lived comfortably in Colombo with their Singhalese friends sometime had been relations, even, to exchange views. The real effect came to the surface with the independence where, the change that took place was not to the liking of many Tamil Political leaders except for the Socialists.

Emergence of militancy
Prabhakaran was a product of the disparity that grew due to the incompetence of the political leaders who ruled this country and the ineffective Tamil leaders. It can be understood by the number of youthful factions that showed their distrust in the system and therefore tried to find a language that could be understood. With the years that passed, Prabhakaran managed to outwit other militants as it was he who got more meaningful support from the Tamil Extremists who wished to have a nation carved in the most convenient geographical location in this island called Ceylon and then Sri Lanka. Singhalese became more dispensable although they had a unique and a solid dominating history in this land.

It was an ideal situation to plan the final strategy, to outwit the Sri Lankan Government by turning the innocent Tamil common people of Sri Lanka who are were actually more related to Singhalese than the Tamils in to some living beings led to a sacrifice to establish the technical term ‘GENOCIDE’, to attract international attention. The last days of Prabhakaran’s moves also prove that.

What this country needs
What this country needs is an environment where all the Singhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers or any other thinkable people of any socio-cultural backgrounds to live freely anywhere in this land owning property and being engaged in honorable and fully legally acceptable vocations. In other words,  the true application of human rights.

It should not be mixed up with land as it should have resources for all. It should not be mixed up with Law and Order because any hate mongering or discriminative behavior should be and can be made punishable with severe punishment.
Why make such simple needs misunderstood and mis-interpreted ?

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