Feature Article
Readers' opinion II

Denounce Sri Lankan identity, readers show ways

[TamilNet, Thursday, 22 January 2009, 23:26 GMT]
As a democratic move, based on principles of non-violence and non-cooperation, the Eezham Tamils should boldly denounce the Sri Lankan identity being imposed on them by the Sinhala government and the world of authoritarians, reads a significant theme of the opinion mails received by TamilNet in response to its request last Friday. “The move should begin from the diaspora for whom it is feasible now and it goes beyond any political or organizational affiliation. The diaspora ought to realize that what is more dangerous than the war camouflaged to be against the LTTE is the adamancy of India and international authoritarians not recognizing the national cause of Eezham Tamils”.

Hundreds of readers responded to TamilNet’s call for opinion on the current situation. TamilNet thanks all of them. It is practically impossible to bring out all the comments. On Tuesday TamilNet brought out the opinion of Mr. Poulson. On instances when many wrote on the same theme, the main arguments are culled out and are edited to present a coherent opinion. The following is the first in the series:

Denouncement of Sri Lankan identity

There was no Sri Lankan identity before the 1972 constitution. Only the Sinhalese were calling the country Sri Lanka in Sinhala usage, starting from late British times, even when the official name in English was Ceylon. Similarly, in Tamil usage the country was called Ilangkai. Thus, the country was officially recognized in three ways in the three languages, but the international identity was in the English form: Ceylon for the country and Ceylonese for the people.

The 1972 republican constitution declared Sri Lanka as the official name, making the Sinhala identity of the country as the international identity. However, Ilangkai continued in the official references to the country in Tamil, such as in the Tamil translation of the constitution, currency, stamps, passports etc.

Tamils rejected the constitution for its Sinhala-Buddhist attributes that made them as second-class citizens. The Tamil response surged within a few years resulted in the Vaddukkoaddai Declaration of 1976, calling for the self-determination of Tamils and in the various Tamil militant organizations, who invariably adopted an Eezham Tamil identity in their names. They didn’t even care for the term Ilangkai.

After waging a brutal war against Tamils on land, sea and air, ensuing for more than three decades, and after creating a deep divide, the Sri Lankan state still dreams that it can impose a Sri Lankan identity on Tamils by completely subjugating them.

What is more serious is the attitude of some world powers and the Indian establishment to thrust this unwanted identity upon Tamils for the sake of their own geopolitical and corporate oligarchic interests.

In the guise of branding the LTTE as the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world and engaging in its elimination the Colombo government and its Indian and international mentors want the Eezham Tamil national identity to be eradicated.

The vacuum created by the weakening of the LTTE is being effectively made use of by these elements to lure Tamils and their civil institutions away from their national question.

It is time not only for Tamils loudly telling the world what they want in no uncertain terms but also for denouncing the Sri Lankan identity forced upon them by the authoritarians.

A totalitarian situation created in the island of Sri Lanka by the fascist Establishment of Colombo is knowingly and deliberately abetted by the said international elements. Tamils living in the island have no democratic rights to say that they hate the yoke of Sri Lanka that is killing them.

But the diaspora can denounce the Sri Lankan identity.

First of all it should start thinking that it is made of Eezham Tamils. It should not associate with anything that is termed as Sri Lanka. It should tell its children that they hail from Eezham Tamil origins, they have nothing to do with Sri Lankan identity and their country is now occupied by Sri Lanka.

Let the Sinhalese as claimed by their army chief have Sri Lanka and let the Tamils denounce it.

It is not a question of supporting or not supporting the LTTE. It is a universal question to all Tamils of the island, whether you identify yourself an Eezham Tamil or a Sri Lankan.

The new beginning of the country of Eezham Tamils depends very much on the firmness with which the diaspora denounces Sri Lanka, especially when the agents of India and the so-called international community approach them on account of their own greed and on behalf of the Colombo government, for luring.



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