honestly, this map is ridiculous. At least they left Unawatuna for the other races. Via peeveeads
I try to read stuff from the Tamil diaspora and local Tamils about how they feel. Many of the concerns I share, but some I think are actually a bit racist and undemocratic. Sri Lanka is still a multi-ethnic society, but a lot of what I read lately is about Tamil nationalism and Tamil self-determination along racial lines. As in, there’s nothing there to speak to people who may not be Tamil, or are perhaps only Tamil speaking, or who are just human. I guess where I differ is that I want reconciliation and harmony within Sri Lanka.
Whatever is wrong with Sri Lanka, no one is calling for a Sinhala state. This may be the appearance or effect of some misguided policies, and I don’t deny that minorities get shafted in many ways. However, no one is calling for a Sinhala state. This is rightly called Sinhala chauvinism. In fact, the constitution and all major policy speeches are pretty clear about inclusion of all races. In practice, however, it is more difficult to get proper service in Tamil at a copshed or whatever and Tamils are disproportionately checked. However, the thing is not rotten at its core.
However, many Tamil voices are still calling for a separate along racial lines. To quote Mr. R. Sampanthan, leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentary group (in TamilNet).
“Tamil militancy was a part of the political struggle of the Tamil people to achieve the right to self-determination in the traditional homeland of the Tamil people in the northeast. The Sri Lanka government says that the armed struggle has been completely defeated. But the political struggle of Tamil people would go on till the legitimate political aspirations of the Tamil people are achieved,”
Furthermore, to quote Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Jaffna district parliamentarian.
“The real intention of Mr Rajapakse is to crush the Tamil struggle, Tamil Nationalism and leave the Tamils with nothing. The government tries to present a picture of Tamils wishing to live along with the Sinhalese, and the UPFA uses this now as a deplorable election gimmick, he further said.
Well, what? Tamil people don’t want to live with the Sinhalese? Why not? Tamil people I meet don’t seem exactly averse to, like, talking to me. Isn’t the northeast of Sri Lanka my home too? Can’t I visit there or even settle down if I want to? Should my race keep me out of any part of this island? Should the Tamil race keep anyone out of the south?
I honestly don’t get it. I think all races on this island can work together towards common, human, Sri Lankan goals. Better governance, less corruption, better education, healthcare, etc. I think we’d all benefit from full implementation of our constitution and language policies. I think regional autonomy for any region under the 13th amendment is good. I mean, it’s cool for any province to be able to control its own police force and have some local power, but it’s not necessarily a racial issue.
I can’t get away with calling for Sinhala Nationalism or Sinhala-only issues, I would be considered racist and quite rude by my multi-ethnic family and friends. Why is it OK for Tamils? Or, to put it simply, can’t we all get along? Does it really have to be about race? Can’t it be about the more important issues we have in common as Sri Lankans and human beings?