Trou­bles. of the Tamils

Southasia - - CONTENTS - David Balas­ing­ham Toronto, Canada

The ar­ti­cle ‘Time to Move On’ makes a case against the U.S. and the U.K. for pres­sur­iz­ing Sri Lanka to in­ves­ti­gate the war crimes com­mit­ted by its armed forces. In sup­port of her stance, the writer quotes hu­man rights abuses com­mit­ted by the two world pow­ers and the warn­ings given by the UN to the Tamil Tigers in the end months of the civil war. But the mat­ter is not as sim­ple as the writer thinks. Sub­ju­ga­tion of the Tamils is a prob­lem as old as the coun­try it­self.

The Tamil pop­u­la­tion suf­fered dis­crim­i­na­tion at the hands of the Sin­hala ma­jor­ity for a very long time. Gov­ern­ments af­ter gov­ern­ments took steps that made it dif­fi­cult for the Tamil youth to ac­quire higher ed­u­ca­tion and get good jobs. They re­sorted to mil­i­tancy only af­ter all other means had failed to give them their due rights. In the decades-long civil war, it was the Tamils who suf­fered the most. Thou­sands were killed while one-third of Sri Lankan Tamils were forced to leave their coun­try. Af­ter the end of the civil war, their con­di­tion has not changed much. There is a need for a thor­ough in­quiry into the crimes com­mit­ted by the Lankan Army re­gard­less of who raises the de­mand.

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