Right idea, wrong place. Also wrong flags. Protestors blocking roads in Toronto. Photo by ???
90% of resistance is showing up. Some diasporals are angry with the Sri Lankan government. They’re applying pressure through the UN, the US Congress and Britain’s Channel 4. It makes a big noise, but not a big difference. Why? Because they’re calling for radical change without making a radical sacrifice. If they want a separate homeland or a new government, it’s really quite simple. They just need to show up.
There are almost a million people in the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora. If they all come back and vote they can swing the Presidential election and win the Provincial Elections in the North and East (and Colombo if they want). Then they can either remake Sri Lanka or claim significant autonomy.
If the government or military pushes back, they will have the numbers to make a Tahrir type scene, and they would win. It’s very easy for the diaspora to remake their homeland. They just need to come home.
Is anyone really going to move back and vote or march? Are they going to sell their properties and businesses to invest in the struggle? No. It’s madness. I think most people in the diaspora realize this and they engage productively, or not at all. For the angry few, however, I humbly suggest a look at the possible realities.
Calling for the overthrow of an elected government from afar is not going to work. You can hurt a country from abroad, but boycotts and sanctions and media reports are too crude to effectively change a government.
What ultimately changes governments is not outside pressure, it’s pressure from within their own power base. Even in the most despotic countries, that is ultimately the people. If the people really, really want to, they can just walk up to the government and not move until they get what they want.
The brave people of Tahrir and Hama simply stepped out of their houses and visibly took back their land. They stood and died and in Hama are being massacred still. But they made that sacrifice. They showed up.
That’s something you can’t outsource. Yes, you can now outsource servants in Sri Lanka. You still can’t outsource resistance.