When Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948, the Sri Lankan Tamil community having learned to live with colonial inherited cultural complexities were ready to share the freedom with other communities in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation. However the preoccupation of their status conscious leaders and the colonial rulers’ misunderstandings of Ceylonese life repressed the feeling faculties of these people. They simply had to get on with everyday life under successive oppressive regimes that were biased towards the majority community in the south and the Tamil community was thus forced to navigate through the red tape imposed by the rulers. Finally pushed to the wall they resisted the state that caused direct confrontation with the state security forces and led the country to a civil-war that lasted three decades. It was a bloody cruel war that caused both sides to violate the basic human rights of the people. As resistance increased, state had to seek foreign assistance that caused occupation of the land by Indian Peace Keeping Force and it only helped to intensify the resistance against the state. Finally with foreign assistance and diplomacy the state was able to end the ruthless civil-war in 2009; then guns were silenced and was followed by a period of negative peace for a decade. This challenged the Tamil community who endured darkness as they were forced to live outside comfort zone and there are many darker stories and they get longer as one dig deeper into the dark side.
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is a political alliance that represents the country’s Sri Lankan Tamil minority was formed in October 2001 by a group of moderate Tamil nationalist parties and former militant groups. TNA won majority of seats in North and East provinces at the 2015 general election and gave unconditional support to the present government, who in turn made bold promises to these people recovering from the civil-war. But with these promises not kept life of these affected people goes on with all the difficulties as their urgent needs remain unmet; naturally they are in an anger mood with TNA, a sense of betrayal that generated a wave of protests to become sources of renewed grievances.
Bitter Truth is these facts are not well received by the divisive mindset rulers in government, who fail to realize that the country went into debts to meet the cost of the civil-war of three decades. Further it has pushed the development back by five decades and most of all many thousands of people lost their lives for a war that nobody won, for the problems that caused the war still remains. As the result the country is facing a dark period of much injustice, hypocrisy, misery, negativity, narrow-mindedness, pessimism and pomposity exposing the darker side of human nature of the rulers; all this in a land that follow four top religions of the world. After the civil-war the government should have prioritized the needs and rights of conflict-affected community, as they promised the international community that helped them to silence the guns to end the war. Instead a decade has lapsed and the rulers are getting ready for the next round of elections to stay in power while those in opposition are getting ready for the polls to gain control of the next government.
As representatives of the Tamil communities TNA are once again at a cross road on its long struggle to win the lost rights of its people. Only option available to TNA is to bring all Tamil political parties under its Alliance to win more seats at the 2020 polls and to reach that goal a big gap that exist needs to be filled. Possible to win over the rights only with a new leader and appreciating all the efforts made in the past it’s time for the veteran leader of TNA Rajavarothiam Sampanthan to oblige to this demand of the people.