Sunday, July 22, 2012

Consider the Irony of a Proposed SLMC and TNA pact in light of the Mannar Incident

It is time that pundits in Sri Lanka and overseas take cognizance of why it is Sri Lanka has this image of “ethnic strife”. If one takes the Mannar case already referred to in two earlier blog posts. as an example. Sinhala people have nothing to do with it, but it is a conflict between Muslims caused solely by the actions of a powerful Govt. Minister of the area, and the Tamil people, who are also trying to get their livelihood and lives back to normal after the ethnic conflict. Here in the North West a pact will be unthinkable, and to my knowledge the SLMC presence is also negligible due to the complete sweep by Rishad Bathiudeen as a monopoly player in the area.

This is a good opportunity to highlight that ethnic strife escalated due to political interference and not due to racial tension. After all the people in that area generally speak Tamil, so there itself there is a leveler, and if the jobs and land demarcation is fairly applied and divided there would be NO cause for this type of conflict.

I therefore believe the Eastern Provincial votes that will be divided along ethnic lines through ethnic parties is an added and unneeded distraction. There is an opinion that says that if the bulk of the Muslim vote goes to the SLMC, then they will be the king maker insisting on the Chief Minister post to go to an SLMC member. Whilst I am in principle opposed to the ethnic flavor of parties and believe the two main parties should fight it out fair and square at the battle, I believe only an act of parliament can prevent race based politics from raising its ugly head.

Only when there are parties such as the TNA determined to tow a hard line, do these problems arise. The ball is in their court now to come to the discussion table, rather than be prim donnas making demands that play to the gallery. We have had enough of passage of time. It is time to finish that stage and find a reason for the Diaspora to disappear from the radar.

There is so much talk about training our foreign diplomats in confronting the Diaspora. All it takes is some courageous leadership decisions that will change the concepts built by an intransigent government to blow away their views of the country being somehow on a Sinhala racial stranglehold. It is important that we realize that if we are able to do so, the Diaspora voices will disappear into the woodwork before we can turn around.
It must be remembered that by this example it is the Govt. of Sri Lanka and not the people that need to learn and change, or be thrown out of office. The Country as a whole gets the rap, for the ignorance of the people who continue to vote in divisive Governments. Who can say that Mahinda Rajapakse united Sri Lanka? No he gave all of Sri Lanka to his party to his army and to himself. The people are completely divided everywhere.

We who are opposed to his regime don’t feel safe anywhere. Our ethnicity has nothing to do with it. We can prove our lines to the ancient kings of Sri Lanka but what good can that now. People must understand that problems have been created by those in power. When people in power create division in the country for their own survival, there is something seriously wrong with the electorate that put them there. I am willing to accept that the current lack of proper education of people who are taught to believe everything they read see and hear, instead of question the same, is the cause of the problem.

Our Govt. is bent on keeping the people in an ignorant state, so they can rule this way. The moment one gets educated the Govt. does its best to send them out of the country. That is why not much hue and cry is made of those who emigrate. That is because they will never vote for this type of administration. The most productive workforce leaves because they cannot do anything here, and are frustrated that the thinking cannot be changed for the better. None of the workers who live overseas has a vote, so they cannot express their democratic right, unlike overseas Americans!

It is time we have a far thinking administration which does not give jobs just for their yes men. Remember Ranil Wickremasinghe in his last government that cut the deficit and inflation, by cutting Govt. jobs and not giving manna to his supporters lost the election as his supporters deserted him for not giving them the unproductive jobs that got us into this mess. Why have we fooled people to believe the Govt. should give jobs only to their supporters?

It is a foolish thing to expect one sided support. It only breeds injustice and unfair policies, detrimental to unity. We must build a merit administration with equal chances to all. We can start with strengthening our education system that will improve the country’s productivity and bring knowledgeable people into power and positions of authority, not thugs and hooligans and yes men. There is an alternative proposal that is eminently more feasible for high sustainable growth, matched with a united nation. It is time to give them a chance. DO SO at your earliest please if you care.

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