There are things that cannot be labelled, or if dissected-fall into pieces. A country’s sovereignty certainly falls into the latter. However, this is the very fact Mr. Sampanthan has forgotten in his speech at the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi convention where he referred to the ‘sovereignty’ of his ‘community.’
In a country that is governed by a unliterary constitution, there cannot be separate sovereignties vested upon each ethnic community. There is nothing called the sovereignty of the Sinhalese or that of the Tamils. The sovereignty of Sri Lanka lies in the hands of the Sri Lankans; be they Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim or Burgher, it is their power that is being diverted to the 225 members of parliament through the public vote. This is a fact that should not be distorted.
He goes on to say that, his aspirations are for a ‘structure outside that of a unitary government, in a united Sri Lanka in which Tamil people have all the powers of government.’ He requests for ‘unrestricted authority’ and says such a solution based on political ‘autonomy’ will please the ‘international community.’
There is a fine line between fantasies and reality.
The ITAK boasts that its hands are devoid of blood. One would hope the party could boast in the same vein of not fuelling separatism or instigating means to attain it. Perhaps, the LTTE was cussed; yet the ITAK is shrewd. The LTTE lacked the diplomacy, through which the ITAK now seeks ‘foreign aid’, begging the international powers to intervene in the home affairs. During the times of kings, those who induced external interferences were called traitors. Perhaps the term needs a modification if not a new definition!
True enough, the predicaments endured by the citizens of the North and East were the repercussions of past mistakes of the rulers. Their need to be comforted and elevated to the ‘equal citizen’ status must be recognized. Their voices need to be heard. Like every other citizen in the country, they deserve to breathe fresh air in a land abandoned by restrictions of all sorts. However, the much questionable military presence, the disappearances and killings occurring right under the noses of the security forces, leave little or no hope for the people who are still waiting to taste freedom. The dormancy on the part of the Government is dangerous. Its lack of action in such quarters has long begun to humiliate the war victory.
As the ultimate authority, the Government cannot afford to leave unsealed spaces for another separatist cause to seep in. Solutions are not meant to sleep in files. People’s agonies are not the LTTE campaign material. Perhaps, Karunanidhi and Sampanthan are singing different lyrics; but the tune sounds the same.
Now is not the time to sit and listen; but to stand up and act on behalf of the long mistreated people who don’t seem to have much choice other than to go with the only voice they are dubbed with.
31st May 2012