Tamil People’s Rights

by A Sivanandan

There will be neither victory nor peace in Sri Lanka till the rights of the Tamil people are enshrined in a federal constitution that devolves power to the Tamil areas in the north and east – as was envisaged by the Norwegian peace process of 2002-05.
First, because the cause for which the LTTE has fought, if not its methods, is the cause of Tamil peoples everywhere, and cannot be suppressed. Second, because the present government, even more than all the governments before it, has, through the Aryanisation of race, the perversion of Buddhism into a violent, communal creed, and the exaltation of the Sinhala language as the language of office, achieved the successful symbiosis of the fascist elements that keeps it in power. In the process, it has killed off civil society with its blanket censorship, judicious murders and the suppression of the intelligentsia till there is no one left to oppose it. Instead, it has bred a culture of hate among the Sinhala masses that sees babies kitted out in army fatigues, accepts torture as a fact of war, and calls for the complete subjugation, if not the ethnic cleansing, of the Tamil people – which, in turn, ensures the perpetuation of an authoritarian government. Alas, my country.
A. Sivanandan is the Director of London-based Institute of Race Relations. The above letter appeared in London’s Guardian newspaper of February 5, 2009.

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