சனி, 18 ஜூன், 2016

EPW article on Sinhala nationalism turns veiled threat to bailout Colombo

EPW article on Sinhala nationalism turns veiled threat to bailout Colombo

[TamilNet, Friday, 17 June 2016, 20:35 GMT]
“After the presidential and parliamentary elections of 2015, Sinhala nationalism is on the retreat but would most certainly play the once powerful anti-state role it played in the1980s and 1990s, in the context of the new government’s reconciliation programme and war crimes investigations,” said a Special Feature appeared in June 4 issue of the Mumbai-based, Economic & Political Weekly. Does this correspond to Chinese ambassador in Colombo ‘advising’ Lankan leaders to see that reconciliation mechanisms suggested by the UNHRC do not themselves create new conflicts and advising them to put ‘development’ before reconciliation? Has it been timed by the EPW to set the tone at the current UNHRC sessions for a collective excuse of genocidal Sri Lanka by Beijing, New Delhi and Washington, asked Tamil activists for alternative politics in the island.

At the UNHRC Sessions this month, the UN Human Rights Chief Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad is obliged to come out with an oral report on the progress so far made by Colombo on matters set by the UNHRC resolution in last September.

Zeid is known for excusing himself from delivering justice by citing ‘governments of the international community’.

There is a pattern at the UNHRC since 2009, set by all the ultimate culprits responsible for the genocide of Eezham Tamils: Beijing would first nakedly come out to protect genocidal Sri Lanka. Then, fearing Chinese influence; competing in greed and guilty of its own complicity in the genocide, New Delhi would follow suit. Media in India, ranging from corporate interests to Stalinist interests would rally to find ‘reasons’ to set opinion in India why Eezham Tamils shouldn't get justice. The most ultimate culprit, the USA, would wait to expose or cite both to excuse itself at the end.

* * *

Earlier, the focus was on China’s entry into the island through Rajapaksa regime. Even on crushing the LTTE, some of its surviving members were deceptively told by New Delhi’s intelligence sleuths that they were forced to do it because of Chinese infiltrations into LTTE leadership.

It is now claimed that the Chinese threat is over with the ‘regime change’ in Colombo. So the focus for excuse, planned by all including China, is the threat of Sinhala nationalism destabilizing State and destabilizing ‘security’ needed for corporate-imperialist onslaught on the island as a whole, if any political justice goes to the nation of Eezham Tamils.

This only means that the nation of Eezham Tamils should complete going through the course of genocide for imperialisms to complete their course on the island.

The hard truth is that the genocidal State in the island, its politicians, diplomats, media, academics and intellectuals – all would put on any mask needed to show to any shade of international interest, or would come out with any threat, just to keep the State surviving with its genocidal attributes intact, unless will-power of humanity directs international players to deliver justice.

* * *

Sankajaya Nanayakkara’s EPW feature on “Transformations in Sinhala Nationalism,” sympathetically projects a section of the JVP, but is well written and informative in bringing out the picture of the Sinhala national movement, even though there are errors and lacuna in areas dealing with the interaction between Sinhala and Tamil national movements.

The feature elucidates on a hitherto un-highlighted and unique aspect of the Sinhala movement, the Elu/ Hela consciousness, which shares attributes with the Dravidian thinking of Tamils, and is a warning to those who try to approach the island with Buddhism, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Pali and Hindi.

If it could be projected and understood properly, Sinhalese and Tamils could meet, understand each other and co-exist better as nations of common substratum of the region facing a geopolitical situation, through the Hela–Dravidian perspective than through any religious manipulations promoted inside and outside now.

The article ends saying that the “Sinhala national movement is yet to mature into a national liberation project with great emancipatory potential.” Nanayakkara cites Cheran that the hallmarks of a national liberation struggle should include a broader and inclusive ideology, deeper commitment to class, caste and gender equality and democracy and transparency in the conduct within and outside the organisation.

But intentionally or unfortunately the feature provides fodder for EPW and opinion-engineers in India and elsewhere to detract justice to genocide-affected nation of Eezham Tamils, through veiled intimidation.

“Even though the Sinhalese are the majority community in Sri Lanka, in regional and global terms, the Sinhalese (Buddhists) are demographically, politically, economically and culturally insignificant. This is not the case with minority communities in Sri Lanka like the Tamils or the Muslims who are spread over the world in large numbers and politically, economically and culturally influential. The Sinhalese are aware of this reality,” the feature said.

“Furthermore, the Sinhalese know that they have a state only in Sri Lanka and nowhere else in the world. Hence, the majority of the Sinhalese come forward to defend the status quo against any threats or potential threats to it,” the feature argued.

“Militant minority nationalisms, the bargaining power and the kingmaker status of ethnic minority political parties, radical Islam, evangelical campaigns of religious conversion, business competition from minorities, foreign political interventions in the internal affairs of the country, political solutions based on devolution of power on the basis of ethnicity are all perceived as direct threats by the Sinhalese to their interests in the island,” the feature warned that giving even an iota of justice to Tamils and entry of any outside interest considering ‘Sri Lanka’ as one entity can’t go together.

“This peculiar demographic composition led to the foremost LSSP theoretician, Leslie Goonewardene, to articulate that “...in the same way as it is necessary to provide special assurance to the smaller nationalities in other countries for building national unity, it is necessary to provide special assurance to the Sinhalese people for the sake of building national unity in this country,” the feature cited Wilson, in indirectly arguing that some people should be more than equal for ‘Sri Lanka national unity’ insisted upon by outside interests.

There is a Sinhala anthropologist in Australia, Michael Roberts, who would always cite a ‘Tamil friend of him’ whenever he undermines Tamil national question in the island. For the EPW feature it was Cheran and Wilson.

* * *

The EPW in its entire history has never come out with any feature or shade of opinion on why the Eezham Tamils undergoing prolonged and ongoing genocide in the island should get independence and State, especially when Tamils in general have no State at all in any part of the world for anyone to care for them or voice for them. That is taboo. Eezham Tamils having historical nation and territory in the island are not asking ‘lebensraum’.

But EPW providing space for arguments like the elder brother hitting the younger brother and then crying louder than the latter, or insinuating justification for setting genocide as a paradigm in selective cases of imperialist agendas are ‘Leftist progressiveness’.

Since April this year, the EPW run by Sameeksha Trust in Mumbai has found a new editor, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, a Bengali journalist of economics background.

This month, genocidal Sri Lanka’s foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera is visiting Norway to brief the ‘achievements in reconciliation’. There will be a public meeting too. He will come out with the same arguments why ‘Sri Lanka’ shouldn’t be pressed for investigation or national-question-orientated solutions to Tamils. The same arguments would be presented at the UNHRC too.

Nanayakkara in the EPW feature reports that Sinhala-Buddhist ultranationalist Bodhu Bala Sena was launched in 2012 after its chief visiting Norway. Already a revisionist and deviationist group of Tamils is also being mobilized in Norway for ‘Sri Lanka development’. Zeid’s report would summarize the net results of all the ‘deliberations’.

Let the nations in conflict, especially in South and Southeast Asia, learn the lesson.

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External Links:
EPW: Transformations in Sinhala Nationalism


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