Sri Lankan Tamil Saga

July 24, 2012 17:02
Sri Lankan Tamil Saga

Sri Lankan Tamil saga is a sensitive chord that has been well-exploited by politicians. In fact there is not an incident that has not been attached to the sentiment. Parties have gone to an extent to putting the interests of the nation behind, to get a mileage in the ongoing issues. For example anybody who crosses the international maritime boundaries intentionally or unintentionally is considered as an offender by the other country. And this is a fact that needs to be understood by one and all. However India's gifting of the Katchatheevu Island to Lanka in 1974 severely reduced the space available for Indian fishermen to fish.


The Sri Lankan Tamil saga began some decades back with many Tamil settlers started migrating from Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka. Many of them went as coffee plantation workers and later settled down there due to healthy environment then. But as time proceeded, things changed, Tamils in that area wanted a separate state. The major conflict started in 23 July 1983 with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) taking to arms against the Sri Lankan Army. The Civil war continued for 26 years till 2009, when the army won over LTTE. In between time, was horrendous for Tamils settled in the disturbed parts of Sri Lanka. As per reports the Lankan army had adopted widespread rape and indiscriminate killings of civilians as reprisal attacks on Tamil population. These uncontrolled terrorist attacks also gave rise to terrorism on the part of LTTE to retaliate against this behavior of the Sri Lankan armed forces.


The fall of LTTE Supremo Vellupillai Prabhakar brought the curtains down on the violent roads to freedom. Not everything was well, with more than thousands displaced from their homes and being treated in the refugee camps in India, as well. In fact thousands are reported to be missing, inspite of stern efforts by the Red Cross. All this is blatant scar on the Lankan democracy forever. Though the country firmly condemns the act, but the assassination of the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is an unpardonable act on the LTTE, which had owned up the action.


After years of struggle the Lankans and the Tamils in the region are slowly evolving out on the issue of living together with some representations in the process of decision making in the democratic way. Then came the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) blow for the Sri Lankans with US proposing a resolution for 'promoting reconciliation and accountability' in Sri Lanka after its army won a 26-year-long civil war by defeating the rebel Tamil Tigers. Due to local parties pressure even Prime Minister  voted on the resolution for alleged war crimes. This to some extent soared the relationships between the two nation.


Then the training of Sri Lankan Armed Forces, personnel in India as per a Common Wealth agreement also was objected by the local parties. Which again could jeopardize the understandings between both the countries. And give a chance to others who would want to take an advantage over the country. However the regional parties have gone to an extent of sending alarms to the UPA government, which crumbles without allies, in various related issues. Initially the training to the Lankan armed forces  in Chennai was objected that was tolerable keeping in mind of Tamil sentiments. But the hue has not rested even after the officers were shifted to other states as well.


And the latest bid is that the Fishermen from Rameswaram who are periodically attacked by the Lankan Navy have taken up the slogan of stop playing cricket with the Island nation. The fishing community has renewed its demand for a ban on cricket ties with the island nation. It is high time that both the governments need to sit and sort out the differences on the various issues pertaining, and hit upon unbiased mutually beneficial solutions which have to be honored by both the neighboring countries. (With inputs from internet-AW AarKay)



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