Feature Article

SLM Hanifa remembers Sivaram's insight, warns of more challenging times ahead

[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 April 2019, 14:42 GMT]
The inhumane terror attacks on Easter Sunday have worsened the chauvinist paradigm prevailing in the island and exposed it as the terrain for global power politics. None of the three powers, the USA, China nor India would be doing anything meaningful for the merger of the North-East or to secure the rights of the people here, said veteran writer SLM Hanifa, interviewed by TamilNet on the occasion of the 14th remembrance of the late Senior Editor of TamilNet, Maa-manithar D. Sivaram (Taraki), on Sunday. Unlike those who passionately talk about Tamil-Muslim unity and do nothing on the ground in practice, Mr Hanifa, a long-term friend of Sivaram, is one of the very few, who have been working for Tamil Muslim unity at the grassroots level in the East.

The thought-provoking interview recorded in Tamil sets the unfolding narrative in a proper context to even those who can't grasp the abstract geopolitical intrigues, commented the journalist who interviewed Mr Hanifa.



Mr.D.Sivaram
Sivaram Dharmeratnam (1959 - 2005)
“The island is plunged into a much worse paradigm of power politics, and the puppet Sinhala regimes favourable to their masters are not going to resolve the conflict anymore. The future looks bleak,” Mr Hanifa said.

“When the ISIS enters a land, the result would be havoc. Thousands would die. Only the US gets its way,” he commented.

By clinging to those who sat in power in Colombo, the Muslim politicians rendered the Muslim people as the pets of the successive chauvinist regimes in Colombo in the past. The terror attack has turned everything upside down, he explained.

The veteran writer, who castigated the collaborationist Muslim leaders for their failures, however, expressed hope on the friendly atmosphere prevailing between the Tamil and the Muslim peoples in Mannaar, Erukkalam-piddi in the North and Pulmoaddai in the East.

Hanifa criticised the Eezham Tamils in the East for their ethnic bias towards the Tamil-speaking Muslims.

He identified the extremist Hindutva coming from India as one of the main reasons behind the worsening trend among the Tamils in the East during the last ten years.

The secularism promoted by the Tamil literature and the complying philosophy of Saivism are no longer the trendsetters among the Tamils in the East, he said.

Tamil journalists, with a few exceptions in Jaffna, were also not up to the point, he said.

“If we are talking about Sivaram and miss him so much even 14-years after his assassination, it is because of the significance of the insight he brought to us both in Tamil and English,” Mr Hanifa observed.

“The human society in the island needs journalists like him to shed deep insights, especially at a time like this when we are coping with an unimaginable tragedy of this magnitude,” he said.

Hanifa was discussing a broad range of issues in the interview from the current situation prevailing in the East following the terror attacks to the trends of religious extremism among the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim people as well as the external cultural and political factors influencing the worsening paradigm in the island.

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