By S.V. Kirubaharan, France
Since Gotabaya became President, he has been determined to dismantle the Tamil hereditary land in the North and East. Tamils have lived there for thousands of years before Buddhism and the Sinhala language came to the Island.
Sinhala Buddhist, especially nationalists refuse to accept the many well documented facts. Let the world understand who were the original people living in this Island. What was their language and religion long before the arrival of Prince Vijaya to this island? What about the four ‘Easwarams’ in the island? I will leave all this for further analysis by historians, genuine archaeologists, anthropologists and others who will eventually tell the truth to the world.
Now let me deal with present affairs. Gotabaya appointed a Presidential Task Force to protect archaeological sites, aiming to establish that Buddhism existed in the North and East of Island. His intention is to get mass support of the Buddhists for his political endeavours!
Before I go into further analysis, let’s look at the definition of Archaeology. In brief, it is the study of human activity in the past, through the recovery and analysis of cultural material, drawing from biological, geological, and environmental systems. It is obvious that Gotabaya has misunderstood the definition of Archaeology and is misleading the people in the South. Archaeology can’t be done only in the interests of Buddhism.
That the Presidential Task Force protecting archaeological sites was appointed by Gotabaya and is under the Defence Secretary reveals another bizarre approach to archaeology. The Task Force is led by the Buddhist Advisory Council, the Maha Sanga – Malwatte, Asgiriya, Malwathu and others. The President who says he is the President for everyone, has appointed only Buddhist clergymen, military leaders and one or two Sinhala Buddhist academics. The Task Force covers only the Tamil hereditary land of the North and East. It’s so obvious that Gotabaya, with the guidance of this Task force, is soon going to say that the whole island was dominated by Buddhists even prior to the arrival of Prince Vijaya.
My request to the same Task force and Gotabaya is that if they are honest and have courage, they should initiate an archaeological analysis in the South from Panandurai, Kaluthurai to Kataragamma. If they do this, they will be surprised to see that the archaeological evidence shows no connection to Buddhism. Also it’s already on the record that the hard work, sweat and the blood of the Tamils built up the South.
Strong evidence indicates that Kataragamma Temple and its surroundings were developed solely by Tamils when it was purely forest and populated only by dangerous animals. Can they tell the world, what happened to the Ramakrishna mission that was next to Kataragamma Temple? For this reason, archaeological search/analysis is more important in the South than in the North and East.
If Gotabaya is really a President for all, rather than doing an archaeological analysis in the North and East, he should get some Forensic experts to see what the armed forces have done in the North and East. However, whether he allows it or not, the time will come soon when everything must be documented. We do not know which law allows Gotabaya to give amnesty to his supporters who are cold-blooded killers in Sri Lanka?
My father always said that, “it’s better to remain a fool rather than open his/her mouth and clear any doubt”. It is the same with some Ministers and others in the present government in Sri Lanka.
For example, consider the resolution brought against Sri Lanka in the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council – UN HRC. It is a mirror held up by the International Community. The Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, Dinesh Gunawardena (DG) and others were shocked and disappointed. However they were politically bound to hide the truth from their citizens. Then DG’s explanation to the media showed people, how he lacks common sense and poor in calculation.
Let me explain the voting in the 46th of UN HRC, in simple language.
There are thirteen (13) countries each for Asia and Africa. Out of the thirteen Asian countries, five (5) abstained and three (3) voted in favour of the resolution. That means that only five (5) supported Sri Lanka. The claim that Asian countries are ‘with us’ – ‘in support of Sri Lanka’, is not true.
Then with African countries, out of thirteen, nine (9) abstained, two (2) voted in favour and two (2) for Sri Lanka. Out of the nine abstaining African countries many have voted against Sri Lanka in the past.
Then among the eight (8) South American countries, five (5) voted in favour of the resolution and only three (3) voted for Sri Lanka. Out of the seven (7) Western countries, all voted in favour of the resolution. Then out of six (6) Eastern European countries, five (5) voted in favour and only one (1) Russia voted for Sri Lanka. This is how the result was 22 in favour; 14 abstained and only 11 voted for Sri Lanka.
Now I hope, DG and his Ministry can understand how voting took place in the UN HRC. Regarding the ‘abstention’ of immediate neighbour India, DG considered this a great victory. But it could also be claimed as a ‘greater victory’ for those supporting the resolution.
A ridiculous statement was made by the Foreign Secretary Jayanath Colombage in an interview with Tim Sebastian. He said: ‘the forty (40) countries which sponsored the resolution, except one all others were white countries’. He also used the word ‘conspiracy’ loosely, in other words it cannot be accepted if only white countries sponsored it.
Then, how about the ban on LTTE – Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam? I do not know whether he is aware that the LTTE was banned by many of the countries which sponsored this resolution. If he or the government think that the resolution sponsored by white countries is null and void, then the LTTE ban is also null and void.
When the LTTE was banned by many Western countries, the Rajapksas considered that those countries are for humanity and respecting their ‘sovereignty and integrity’. Unfortunately when the same countries brought a resolution against them, they twisted their tongue and said those ‘white’ countries are ‘interfering in our internal matters’, violating the ‘sovereignty and integrity’ of our country. Also, what about the notices and signs written in Chinese that are appearing in so many places in Sri Lanka? Is sovereignty and integrity reflected in the ‘Port City”?
Sarath Weerasekara, Keheliya Rambukwella and a few others say that the Indo-Lanka accord is very old, so it’s not suitable for the present day. If that is the case, then it’s the same for the Katchathivu pact and Srimawo-Sasthiri pacts which are much older than the Indo-Lanka accord. In that case, the Indian Navy can walk into Katchathivu and the Tamils who were repatriated under Srimavo-Sasthiri pact can also come back and settle in upcountry.
In conclusion, I would like to differentiate between Muslim leaders and the Muslims and also Sinhala Buddhist Leaders and the Sinhalese. As far as the Ethnic conflict is concerned neither Muslim leaders nor the Sinhala leaders have the right approach and policy. Both talk of emotional politics suiting their existence only. For example, in the past the Muslim in Sri Lanka never had their own Political party. Muslims from the North and East were represented through the Tamil Federal party. Unfortunately, during the armed conflict Muslims leaders agreed with the ‘divide and rule’ policy and supported every government which was in power. This led to Muslim home-guards becoming anti-Tamil, though they are Tamil-speaking themselves. Soon after the ethnic armed conflict ended, Muslims paid the price for it.
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Colombo Gazette’s point-of-view