Central government Vs Regional power; Which is good for Tamils?

Famous Chinese Marxist Mao tse tung said “enemy will tell us which weapon we should take”. This is what president Mahinda Rajapaksa did to eliminate LTTE terrorism. The whole world understands this theory very clearly. The Sri Lankan Government never had an idea of solve this problem militarily. But it was the LTTE which lead this situation.

“There never was a good war and bad peace “ – Benjamin Franklin.

Tamils should understand this very clearly.War is always to get rid of the bad elements and peace is always there for the betterment of human being.
We hope tamils do understand this situation and corporate accordingly. They also should be aware that, a country will not succeed with regional patriotism. You will not any country in the world and even in history. In multi-ethnic populated country, it is important that community should know how to live peacefully in this country. All communities should motivate and promote to work towards one goal. Thereby, we will find the people working for the country. We need cultivate that mind. That is called the national patriotism. Further, it is important to promote national unity rather than regional unity or community unity. If you unity among your community members, sometimes it may be a detrimental to the national unity. National unity cannot be compromised by any means. Some countries which have multi-ethnic population sometimes create division among community members to promote national unity. That is one way of achieving unity. The other way is to find one good reason of a foreign conspiracy and rally around people to work as one nation.

 

Muslis - image 2 Tamils - image 1

Religious Patriotism Vs National Patriotism – Muslim Factor

 

In this context, some intellectuals say muslims in Sri Lanka by their extra ordinary attachment to their religion and unity provoked and pushed the other communities such as Buddhist Sinhalese and hindu tamils to pay more attention to their religions. Now innocent Buddhists and hindus have also started talking about their religion and try to show their attachment and involvement. If one religion shows off very much where the majority and other communities keep silent , then it will not lead to a pluralistic society. One rational thinking person will always think about the country and the environment before perusing his religious practices. Tolerance is not only applicable to majority , but also applies to the minority as well. All communities should treat their religion alike. One religion cannot overrule the other. Religious leaders should not promote religious separatism. In the mean time , each religion should know their limits. If this problem is not solved then there will be a Religious Patriotism Vs National Patritism scenario.

 

Regional patriotism vs. National patriotism

The question here is not about patriotism. Are we looking for a pro-regional patriotic country or a pro-national patriotic country? If we promote pro-regional elements, it will be detrimental to national patriotism. One cannot have regional and national patriotism. We should look for the best possible solution to suit the country’s ground situation. I would suggest that it has to be national patriotism, which is the best gift for post war Sri Lanka.
Therefore, GoSL should consider this point seriously when discussing about the devolution package to Tamils. A rational thinking Tamil also should give some thought to this, if in case a solution is arrived at. Will the answer be devolution or will it take some other form?

If that be so GoSL should think of a just and fair solution as an alternative to devolution. But devolution based solution should not be a preference. GoSL can think of some other way to please the Tamil community.
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Patriotism is, generally speaking, cultural attachment to one’s homeland or devotion to one’s country, although interpretations of the term vary with context, geography and political ideology. It is a set of concepts closely related to those of nationalism.

The English term patriot is first attested in the Elizabethan era, via Middle French from Late Latin (6th century) patriota “countryman”, ultimately from Greek πατριώτης (patriōtēs) “countryman”, from πατρίς (patris), “fatherland”.[4] The abstract noun patriotism appears in the early 18th century.

The general notion of civic virtue and group dedication has been attested in culture globally throughout the historical period. For the Enlightenment thinkers of 18th-century Europe, loyalty to the state was chiefly considered in contrast to loyalty to the Church. It was argued that clerics should not be allowed to teach in public schools since their patrie was heaven, so that they could not inspire love of the homeland in their students.

Source : Wikipedia

Main Objective

In a nutshell, people in a multi ethnic society should not leave any room for Religious Patriotism or Regional Patriotism. People should be educated on this. We see few extremists in each community. But that is very much a small percentage compared to peace loving majority. Therefore people should be educated to ignore or sideline the extremist’s view and look for majority view. Media has a major role to play to maintain religious and communal harmony in the country. Law and order procedures are not enough. People in this country should help each other to ease the task of law enforcement authorities.

Problems should be solved to promote National Patriotism and not separatism

A country or a responsible government will always focus on solving an ethnic or a religious issue , not only to give a better life to the affected community , but also to promote & encourage the affected community to love their motherland. This has to be the main motto behind each and every solution. So any solution does not serve this purpose cannot be considered as a durable & fair solution.

History & Background – Looking at countries of South East Asia

The dawn of Indian independence came through by massacres and migrations in the Punjab on a scale unparalleled in world history in time of peace. During that time Burma also saw similar struggle. Aung San, the youthful leader of Burma’s independence struggle did not live to see the signing of the treaty which he had negotiated between Britain and Burma which granted Burma her independence as he was assassinated along with a group of his closest associates.

Situation in Sri Lanka was totally different .Sri Lanka in 1948 was in contrast, an oasis of stability, peace, harmony and order. The transfer of power in Sri Lanka was smooth and peaceful; little was seen of the divisions and bitterness which were tearing at the recent independence of the new nations of South Asia.Some critics say this may be one reason that members of different community not showing big attachment towards national patriotism compared to Indians.

On the inaugural day of independence from the British who ruled the country from the year 1815, the first prime minister D. S. Senanayake who was nicknamed the Maha Kalu Sinhalaya issued a statement clarifying the importance of independence in which he mentioned that the freedom we enjoyed for two and a half millennium years was deprived for over four centuries and finally regained after struggles.

The Prime Minister also mentioned clearly that regaining independence was the end of one struggle but the beginning of another struggle which could be bigger than the previous one. How correct his words turned out to be became clear on analysis of political implications especially of minority anxieties on points of development interest starting from the Soulbury constitution which did not have adequate protection and rights of the minority communities in the country.That was the root of all problems.

Looking back it could be said that in the first years after independence the nation was united for most of the time , because people of CEYLON tasted the real independence and corporated with UNITY concept without any divisions. There was much progress made in fields such as education, agriculture and health due to far-seeing politicians at the time such as the Prime Minister himself and C. W. W. Kannangara. The efforts made in agriculture were such that the country was almost self-sufficient in rice production. As we can see some similarities of POST independence era of D S S Senanayake under President Rajapaksa’s rule, but still we have a long way to go to achieve a durable solution to the ethnic issue.But DSS did not face a challenge of terrorism and separatism , so it was easy for him unite the communities, But President Rajapasa faced a daunting task when he took over the office, but he managed to end the war in a successful manner. That credit should go to MR.

TNA and Tamils future ( TNA’s immature actions do not help the Tamils in anyway )

The Tamil National Alliance which has (upto now) has a wider support of tamils still shows its agitation and protest against the government. These actions will never ever solve the tamils problems , instead it will drag the matter.

In an expected way, TNA responded the Government’s decision to ban 16 Diaspora organizations, TNA backed Northern Provincial Council in Sri Lanka has adopted a resolution against the government’s decision to proscribe 16 international Tamil diaspora organizations alleged of functioning as LTTE front organizations.

The Council controlled by the major Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) passed 23 resolutions including a resolution demanding the government to withdraw the ban on the 16 overseas Tamil organizations.

The resolution moved by the Council member M.K. Sivajilingam has been passed unanimously, but UPFA provincial councilors objected to this resolution. Through this resolution TNAs duplicity is well exposed. When UN human rights council passed a resolution against sri lanka in march, TNA welcomed the resolution and pressed for international probe for war crimes.But UN resolution 1373 came into effect TNA objects it.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373, adopted unanimously on 28 September 2001, is a counter-terrorism measure passed following the 11 September terrorist attacks on the United States.[1] The resolution was adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, and is therefore binding on all UN member states.

It marks a shift in international law, as the latter was presumed to be valid only if the concerned state had voluntarily signed the international treaty; whereas here the Security Council imposed the resolution on all member states. According to the press release, the “meeting, which began at 10:50 pm, adjourned at 10:53 pm” and thus lasted three minutes. There is no record of the meeting, and the United States is widely credited with initiating Resolution 1373.

Aims of the resolution

The resolution aimed to hinder terrorist groups in various ways. It recalled provisions from resolutions 1189 (1998), 1269 (1999) and 1368 (2001) concerning terrorism. UN member states were encouraged to share their intelligence on terrorist groups in order to assist in combating international terrorism. The resolution also calls on all states to adjust their national laws so that they can ratify all of the existing international conventions on terrorism. It stated that all States “should also ensure that terrorist acts are established as serious criminal offences in domestic laws and regulations and that the seriousness of such acts is duly reflected in sentences served.”

The resolution established the Security Council’s Counter Terrorism Committee [CTC]to monitor state compliance with is provisions.

It also aimed at restricting immigration law, stating that “before granting refugee status, all States should take appropriate measures to ensure that the asylum seekers had not planned facilitated or participated in terrorist acts. Further, States should ensure that refugee status was not abused by the perpetrators, organizers or facilitators of terrorist acts, and that claims of political motivation were not recognized as grounds for refusing requests for the extradition of alleged terrorists.

However, the resolution failed to define ‘Terrorism’, and the working group initially only added Al-Qaida and the Taliban regime of Afghanistan on the sanctions list. This also entailed the possibility that authoritarian regimes could label even non-violent activities as terrorist acts, and thus infringing upon basic human rights.” –

Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Security_Council_Resolution_1373

All types of tolerances are not only applied to the majority community but also applied to Minority as well. Minority Tamils and Muslims in this country should also understand this fact as well.”

 

Written by : J.Yogaraj, Senior Journalist & Announcer ( S L B C )

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