Mirror Opinion -The folly of our past

Dr. Noel Nadesan

Once again the Tamil leadership is resorting to the old tactic of threatening the Government with demands and deadlines. The latest is the TNA setting conditions for talks with the Government. It has not only put forward three conditions but also insisted that the Government should respond within a period of 10 days. It is insisting that the Government delegation, with whom it is having talks, should inform the TNA in writing of its position on the following matters: (1). the structure of governance; (2). the subjects and functions allocated to the central government and the provincial councils and (3).the issues pertaining to fiscal and financial devolution. 

These are the failed and arrogant tactics of the LTTE at a various negotiations held in various international capitals. Where did it take them? I also like to ask what will the TNA do if the Government refuses to go along with their demands and deadlines? Do they have any plan Bs? Are they going to run to India? Do they want to ride on the backs of the Tamil youth once again as they did in passing the Vadukoddai Resolution in 1976? Or are they planning to stage satyagrahas like S. J. V. Chelvanayakam in the 60s and 70s?

Any responsible leadership that gives priority to the overall interests of its community has a duty to look back and consider the lessons learnt from the past before rushing into places where angels fear to tread. Since Independence the  Tamil politicians have plunged headlong into one crisis after another at great cost to the Tamil community. They are the worst gamblers I ever have come across. In the Hindu Epic Mahabharatha , Tharmar gambled with wife Thraubatha only but our politicians are gambling with the life of every Tamil. Their misguided political programmes have put back the North and East clock to 1920. Haven’t the Tamil people suffered enough by trying to make our politicians happy? They have been drawing fat cheques as MPs, Ministers and members of various minor administrations without giving the same opportunities for our people to draw the benefits of the government which they criticize day in day out pretending to be their liberators. They are doing exactly what Prabhakaran did: destroy the Tamil community by proclaiming to be their liberators.

In any case, where did the best organized front of the Tamils led by Velupillai Prabhakaran take us? If he failed with his deadly military machine what can the TNA deliver to the Tamil people? The TNA leadership should know better than anyone else because they were a part and parcel of the LTTE killing machine, following obediently the instructions issued to them by the “sole representatives of the Tamils”. Their actions indicate that they do not have the intelligence to understand the failed past or they are heartless and cruel, like Prabhakaran,?

  As a Tamil I know that the bull is our sacred symbol. But that does not mean that we have to behave like a bull in a China shop running wild destroying everything in it. The time has come for us to sit down and review our past before we rush into an uncertain future with no guarantees of success through anti-Government policies or violence.

It is true in the last two years President Mahinda Rajapaksa has not put forward any concrete political proposal. But on the economic front – the front that really matters to our helpless people now — he and his government has been involved in massive rehabilitation work of historical proportions to put out people on their feet again. Any one visiting Sri Lanka can see for themselves the amount of infra-structure work that is being carried out. I would venture to say that it is done on an unprecedented scale and our first duty is to go along with development and rehabilitation work to lift our people from the depths to which they have fallen as a result of the folly of our past and present leaders. Our failure was in putting politics before rice and curry.

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