"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
 
- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Selected Writings by Nadesan Satyendra
- நடேசன் சத்தியேந்திரா

Peace with Justice

September 1992

"...The Tamil people are neither fools nor beggars nor for that matter pleaders. They do not beg for ‘concessions’. Nor, do they ‘plead’ for justice. They know that the Tamil struggle for self determination is just because 40 years is long enough for a people to wait for their human rights. They know that it is lawful because no people may rule another people and because the practise of ‘democracy’ within the confines of a unitary state has resulted in rule by a permanent Sinhala majority in Sri Lanka. ..In the pregnant words of the landmark joint statement by over 20 NGOs at the recent sessions of the UN Sub-Commission on Minorities in Geneva, the struggle of the Tamil ‘people’ is a ‘national struggle’. It is a national struggle which has been fertilised by the blood of a people, and yes, by their tears as well. In the end it will succeed. And then peace will come. Peace with justice. .."


The vituperative attacks launched by the Sri Lanka Government and the Sinhala Opposition on each other, following the beheading of Sri Lanka’s military command in the Kayts explosion, have a common thread. Each Sinhala faction believes that it can achieve dominance in the political arena by showing that it is more anti Tamil than its opponents. Tamil bashing continues to remain the time honoured route to power in unitary Sri Lanka.

It was said of the Bourbons of France that they forgot nothing and learnt nothing. It seems that Sinhala political leaders have remembered nothing and learnt nothing. But it will be wrong to put the blame simply on Sinhala political leaders. The Sinhala people must after all accept responsibility for the leaders they have created. Sinhala political leaders cannot continue to do that which they do if they were not able draw upon feelings which are deep rooted in the Sinhala body politic.

Some Sinhala political leaders will even privately ‘confess’ to their Tamil ‘friends’:

‘‘What can we do. If we don't appeal to Sinhala chauvinism, our opponents will. At least, with us you know we are good fellows at heart and we will do ‘something for you’ if we are in power.’’

The late Mr. H.W.Jayawardene, the Leader of the Sri Lanka delegation at the Thimpu Talks in 1985, sidled upto a member of the Tamil delegation at a tea break and said in a confidential whisper:

‘You know, we cannot offer any more than District Councils. Mrs.Bandaranaike is terrible - she will not let us do anything more.’’

Unbelievable, perhaps, but true. The whole revolting farce has been re-enacted so many times over, from the B-C Pact to the Dudley Chelva Agreement, from the Parthasarathy inspired APC to the recent Parliamentary Select Committee fiasco, that the surprising thing is that Sinhala political leaders have the unmitigated gall to continue to repeat this ‘mantra’ even today - ‘what can we do, the other side will not let us’.

The Tamil people are neither fools nor beggars nor for that matter pleaders. They do not beg for ‘concessions’. Nor, do they ‘plead’ for justice. They know that the Tamil struggle for self determination is just because 40 years is long enough for a people to wait for their human rights. They know that it is lawful because no people may rule another people and because the practise of ‘democracy’ within the confines of a unitary state has resulted in rule by a permanent Sinhala majority in Sri Lanka.

In the pregnant words of the landmark joint statement by over 20 NGOs at the recent sessions of the UN Sub-Commission on Minorities in Geneva, the struggle of the Tamil ‘people’ is a ‘national struggle’. It is a national struggle which has been fertilised by the blood of a people, and yes, by their tears as well. In the end it will succeed. And then peace will come. Peace with justice.

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