Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has objected to the advice of the US and UK asking it to stop the war with the LTTE, which is seeking a separate homeland – Tamil Elam – for the country’s Tamils. Sri Lanka argues that the US and UK are interfering in its internal affairs.

Consider the analogy of a spat in a neighbor’s family; when there is misunderstanding between members of a neighbor’s family, it is an internal affair and one should not interfere in it. If on the other hand, the quarrel in the neighbor’s family leads to blows, one cannot treat it as an internal matter and refrain from taking interest to stop the quarrel. And if the quarrel exacerbates to killing, it definitely cannot be treated as internal affairs. One not only has the right, but also the obligation to intervene and stop the quarrel. It is with this same sense that the killings of thousands in Sri Lanka cannot be seen as an internal matter, irrespective of the reasons leading to it.

At this juncture, one has to seriously think, whether any country, particularly the UK, which once ruled Sri Lanka and which handed over power to the local people, based on Ceylon Independence Act of 10.2.1948 of the Parliament of UK, and India which is geographically close to Sri Lanka and which faces the influx of refugees and political problems, can be silent spectators of destruction of a race just to respect the independence and sovereignty of Sri Lanka as demanded by the government of Sri Lanka. These countries which are concerned with the situation in Sri Lanka, should seek UN intervention to bring about peace there.

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One Response to Sri Lanka

  1. shamalj says:

    The British who ruled Sri Lanka for nearly 150 years applied a “divide and rule,” method to control the rebellious majority by providing a disproportionate share of political power to the submissive minority. This is the root cause of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.

    In 1885, out of 819 schools in the country, 300 schools were in Jaffna where Tamils were the majority (99%). This was a strategic move by the colonial rulers to breed the necessary intellect to rule the majority. By the time Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948, the major civil service bureaus and military were dominated by the educated Tamils. For instance, the first native commander of the Sri Lanka army and the first native commander of the Sri Lanka navy were Tamils. Consequently, the majority Sinhalese (80% of the population at that time) introduced affirmative action to remedy this injustice — an attempt the elite Tamil minority construed and propagated as “discrimination.”

    Open economic reforms in 1978 sealed the fate of the Jaffna Tamils, especially the youth, who witnessed the collapse of their agricultural economy by sagging demand as markets were flooded with foreign products. Tamil nationalistic leaders, fantasizing a homeland for 100 million Tamils in the world, exploited this situation.

    The West has clearly identified the potential of Sri Lanka, and I hope it also realizes the true nature of the problem in Sri Lanka and will help it eradicate terrorism.

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