In Sri Lanka, the majority community more than double in number have dominated the parliment since independence and gradually began overrunning the rest, dominating the rest for their own political survival.
As the result, the rest mainly made up of the three Tamil speaking communities have accumulated many unresolved issues, over seven decades. Yet they have not been able to sort them out with their dominating rulers.
The Tamil communities should have realized this and formulated their strategies together; it would have prevented the cruel civil-war, but that did not happen. These divsions are not helping the communities to work with the majority community to keep Sri Lanka together as one country.
Ending of the civil-war in 2009, the mind of these communities changed, especially after seeing the events in 2022 unfolding in the land with collapse of the economy; and the reactions from the world outside. It opened their eyes more than before on their plight and that of future generations.
However in the post-war scenario, a low-profile attempt was made by academics and others close to respective leaderships of the two main upcountry political parties to unify the ever-divisive polity. They met a few times, to see how far and how best could their leaders work together, towards a common cause.
The reality is there were no ideological differences, but only personality clashes. Hence, once the leaders were ready to subsume the latter, a unified approach could at least be attempted at that time.
Yet, the intervening presidential polls of 2010, followed by parliamentary elections, put paid to any efforts and revival attempts were not initiated by anyone.
The situation of the Tamils in North and East are different, for they have many political parties that are unwilling to work together. But the least they could do is to come-up with a common plan to resolve all issues, keeping their separate identity at elections.
Now the leader of the Tamil Progressive Alliance and the Ceylon Workers’ Congress’s leader is to bury past differences and come together to work like a double-barrelled gun for the benefit and betterment of the Upcountry Tamil community.
If they succeed to work together, it would send out a message to other Tamil-speaking communities in the Sri Lankan Tamils and Muslims.
In this sinario, if such reformist thinking comes across in the other two, then all three ‘minority’ communities could work together and unite with the majority community and provide healthy politics at the national-level to go forward to rebuild a multi ethnic and multi religious country.