When British left Sri Lanka (SL), Sinhalese must have got a written document stating that Tamils do not have rights to any governmental issues.
When India divided its country into provinces and gave regional rights, Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) should have done that. If GoSL did like that, then as the founder of Singapore envied, GoSL would have been a much better state. Please note that India have only one language as the national language, while every region has its own state official language. It would have been much the same way and Sinhalese would have had the Sri Lanka as one state. Moreover, since the majority of the island is Sinhalese, the government representatives would have always been Sinhala majority.
When Indian government gave jobs based on castes, GoSL should have divided the people according to their castes, instead of languages. If you permit this percent of this type of castes into jobs, the country would have been divided on the basis of castes. Then the people would have been more arguing within the castes. Therefore, there would not have been a large number of one type of people to wage war, like in India.
GoSL should have given university seats on the basis of castes as in India; so again, there would have been division among Tamils. So there would not have been a large number of people to wage war on the basis of castes.
All these were the Sri Lankan bureaucrats’ mistakes. Indian bureaucrats’ foresaw the future danger and used the simple technique of “divide and conquer”.
GoSL should have developed North-East (NE) areas as how other areas were developed. If only GoSL developed NE areas, the people wouldn’t have had the need to separate. Then many Sinhalese would have migrated to NE areas and the “Tamils land” would have been a mingled place.
Now the war has started and many lives were lost. If the Sinhala government’s war is only against LTTE, have you ever thought why many Tamils still joining LTTE and most of all becoming suicide bombers?
Your argument would be that LTTE is recruiting Tamils by force. It is undeniable that day by day many Tamils join LTTE in large number. It is simply not possible to recruit so many by force. GoSL would have to accept that so many people would not become suicide bombers, if they were recruited by force. A human to live a normal live, plan and rehearse just for the sake of killing him/herself is enormous. S/he could have just walked away from the suicide plan or better, surrendered to Sri Lankan Army (SLA).
If the Sri Lankan army said to only fight LTTE and safeguard the Tamils, the Tamils would not have feared the SLA. So then why Tamils fear SLA and join LTTE?
Let’s see who fears LTTE.
The people who have suffered from LTTE, hates them; their family members were shot to death in the name of “treason”; their properties were lost due to the course of LTTE. Very few people with their caste pride.
As you can see, the people who hate LTTE suffered from LTTE. The very same principle applies to SLA.
SLA should treat the Tamil people with at least some dignity. SLA says they kill LTTE, but they kill Tamil civilians. If a family member is brutally attacked or killed by the SLA, of course the whole family will fear SLA. Not only had the family feared SLA, but also the neighbours and relatives. If a bombing happens in a junction, SLA attacks all the Tamils around that area. How will the Tamils like SLA? If you are only fighting against LTTE, you should treat the people with love, so the next time they won’t fear SLA and possibly show you where the LTTE is hiding.
In America, if someone shoots, American police do not brutally attack and abuse the family or the neighbours. In turn, they inquire peacefully, hence giving the people the trust that the police are only after the killer. Hence, they will help in any way they can to guide the police in the right direction.
So you may ask doesn’t LTTE attack and kill Tamils. Of course they did and hence few Tamils dislike LTTE. But the ratio of SLA abuse is much greater than the ratio of LTTE abuses.
So called “bombing LTTE camps” is never right. This is the humiliating fact of SLA. LTTE never had their camps so visible and certainly never had their camps in a desert, so it is easily identifiable. So what happens to all the bombs dropped by the planes? It kills Tamil civilians. Again, now the whole area hates SLA and hence joins LTTE. If GoSL only stopped dropping bombs, and used the ground troops, LTTE would not have been grown this large. [ Please see the article “Ready to Kill, Willing to Die” by Kevin Sites at http://hotzone.yahoo.com/b/hotzone/blogs5836 ]
If SLA captures LTTE [very few occurrences], they should not torture, mutilate and kill the prisoners. This will, definitely, make the LTTE cadres not be afraid to get caught or surrender. If you have noticed, LTTE has handed over many SLA alive and if dead, without any mutilations.
So by all means SLA inflicts terror in the minds of Tamils. If so, how will Tamils support SLA?
Even outside NE in the island of SL, Tamils are seen by the SL police as terrorists. If a Tamil moves to a non-NE area, SL police will inquire. If a Tamil visits/ moved to Colombo, you have to report to the SL police station and get registered in their registry and always keep that receipt handy. These activities do not allow the Tamils of SL to feel and think SLA is a friend of us.
Many Tamils arrested by the SL police for inquiry either do not return home or they encounter brutal torture. Many Tamils are in jail without any court appearances and lawyers. So even the Tamils that do not have any links with LTTE, now starts to hate SL police. If GoSL should not want Tamil civilians not to hate SL police, they should treat the arrested Tamils decently and give fair trials. So the Tamils think that the justice is fair.
The state Sri Lanka is now is the consequences of the mistakes by the prior GoSL bureaucrats. The denial of civil human rights consequences will be heard in the future. It is in the hands of Sri Lankan officials not to direct the path of Sri Lanka to a downfall.
In short, if GoSL wants to weaken the LTTE, they should first try to win the support of Tamils by not abusing, attacking, and brutally killing Tamils just for being Tamils. This will heavily damage the link between Tamils and Tigers.
Note: This is published in Asian Tribune .
There was a report about child soldiers in LTTE. Before you start to think its bad, think why it happens. Why children go to work? Its not that they go there and play. The root cause is poverty. Now, think about NE areas. Even though the “poverty” reason cannot be ruled out, the majority of the cause is that they were affected by SLA. Children lose their father, mother, or relatives by the SLA firings/ bombings. Then they become LTTE to take revenge. So the welfare of the people should be elevated in the NE areas and the damage done to civilian families should be eliminated. This is evident if you look at Tamil children from other areas, where they do not join LTTE.
Hence, it is not wrong to say it is SLA and GoSL that compels people to become LTTE.