Leading diaspora group calls on Tamils to protect hard-won gains

A leading diaspora group has called on the Tamil community to protect the hard-won gains of the past.

The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) noted that the Tamil community face monumental challenges today.

It said that the Rajapaksas-led political ‘movement’ does not have many parallels in Sri Lanka’s history.

“It relies entirely on Sinhala-Buddhist vote and highly insensitive to the concerns and aspirations of the minority communities. No commitment to accountability and reconciliation (withdrew from co-sponsorship of UNHRC resolution), increased militarisation of civil functions (military officers for every village in the North-East), and the appointment of all-Sinhala task force to ‘preserve the historical heritage of Sri Lanka’ in the multi-ethnic Eastern Province are a few examples. More ominous is the possibility of losing some of the fundamental reforms such as power devolution under 13th Amendment and the parity status for Tamil language,” the GTF said in a statement today.

GTF said that a major economic contraction Sri Lanka is expected to undergo could lead to intensifying authoritarianism and militarisation, and in all likelihood the minority communities will be used as scapegoats for the wrong doings of the powerful.

“The period ahead will test the capability of the Tamil political leadership. Forming effective partnerships with the elected representatives from all minority communities and with those from the majority community with progressive views could be critical, so is fostering effective engagement strategies with the international community and India,” GTF said.

GTRF noted that if the Rajapaksas are denied 2/3rd majority, such coalitions would be particularly powerful in preventing the constitution being amended on their own right.

The Tamil community was urged to protect its hard-won gains, while exploring opportunities for furthering its community interests.

“So, what should the Tamil community do at this election? First and foremost, ensure that people appreciate the significance of this election and the power of their vote – every vote matter. Second, no vote should be wasted on the multitude of independent groups and those representing country-wide parties, as these could only dilute the strength of the Tamil representation for future political engagements. Overly unrealistic agenda and an inward-looking insular political strategy is not the most suited in the present circumstances,” GTF said.

GTF appealed to every citizen of Sri Lanka, and the Tamil people in particular, to cast their precious votes and cast it wisely, keeping the long-term interest of the country and their political, economic and democratic rights in mind. (Colombo Gazette)

2 COMMENTS

  1. The GTF have adopted the position of sworn enemies and saboteurs of the Sri Lankan state. An extension of LTTE ideology and aims sans name. Is that the laughable strategy for advancing peace, reconciliation, and progress ?

    As the Tamil community is well aware; root causes for the current mire the country finds itself in, can be attributed solely to the successive corrupt Sinhalese dominated governments since Independence. And it was that alienation winch led to thirty years of misery.

    Perhaps the answer lies in unity and building bridges, and not bloody minded burning of bridges. As is the GTFs current strategy.

    The Tamil community is comprised of brilliant academics and business people. And yet, the only political representation they can muster are the ‘dregs of their community’.

    The greatest hindrance to Sri Lanka’s progress since Independence has been parliament. An united front of all Sri Lankan’s working to reform the quality of that assembly would be welcomed by all.

    Perhaps that would be a better aim of the GTF; instead of the constant and obsessive rehashing of the past.

    • @Gabriella:
      You say constant rehashing of the past! Is it any different or better now in the North and East, and for most of the rest scattered across the island? Perhaps you simply cannot know or understand.
      Who’s in the best position to understand the plight of the people of North and East? Do you think that these people who lost so much without much gain should support the policies of any of the back-boneless major party in this country, instead of steadfastly pushing for their rights and for justice now, today, not in another 5 decades?
      Are the people of North and East to believe that the politics of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the SLPP, and the vast voting herd that support these war criminals and murderous thieves are interested in accountability and reconciliation, and building bridges?

      Your well-meant tokenism is just that. A drop in the bucket is no longer an acceptable step in the right direction, for it can disappear with the wind of change in politics. Resolute action is needed now. A true democracy delivers the rights of the people equally and justly now, not in decades time. Several decades have already passed with much futility. People and the government think that a racist mandate of the majority is democracy in action. It’s not. Justice and protection of the individual rights of all people equally are fundamental to a democracy. Not majoritarian racism.

      For that resolute action to happen now, GTF and other such organizations should push hard and lobby all backers. No longer there is time to appease a population that vastly supports racist policies and wants to strengthen their racist majoritarian position by vying for a 2/3rds majority in the parliament. State run terror and state sponsored thuggery as means to oppress the minorities should not be allowed to flourish once again. Only those who have experienced the brunt of it can truly determine what is in their best interest.

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