Dear Sinhala Brethren,
We want to live in a conflict-free Sri Lanka where we join in to celebrate our country’s 75th Independence as much as you. Year after year the independence of Ceylon is celebrated by the Sinhala people whilst the Tamils commemorate it. The way other people are treated differently continued to be ignored. The collective subjugation of Tamil victims that were imbibed with oppressive violence shaped the formation of the modern state-building of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is our country too. How it has alienated the Tamils since Independence is a clear indication of that deliberate policy of discrimination that became institutionalised. For us to celebrate the independence as much you do, we need our Sinhala brethren to sincerely understand our longstanding grievances and aspirations evolved, which will not, in any way, cause any harm to any other people or communities in the country. It will neither uproot anyone, restrict their freedom of movement nor deprive them of their rights in whatever form of devolution.
It is not at all about the separation of our beautiful country, but it is to ensure that the country remains undivided forever, power-sharing is inevitable and reassuring the individual rights and collective rights of a multi-ethnic Lanka. We envisage tried and tested models in the world that will be suitable for power sharing in SL.
The conflicts were man-made in SL. Worse when murder and mayhem took place in the name of peace & religions. Instead of addressing the underlying issues, the conflicts were allowed to deteriorate and then suppressed. Then it becomes a way of living and culture. Let us be the ambassadors of goodwill. The pogroms and war have destroyed the country beyond repair. The effects of violence have not only bankrupted the country but brought the system to its knees. Bribery, corruption and embezzlement became state culture. The politicians and privileged who robbed the people of their future are still at large, protected by the system.
The anger of future generations called for System Change and disposed of the most powerful despots from their position. It could be regarded as the most peaceful revolution ever witnessed to dispose of the change of government. It is the responsible conduct of those activists who stood by the people with lived experience at the forefront and pitched on peace and harmony that remains an admiration. In the same belief, we appeal to the peaceful, invigorating and generous collective communities to effect the necessary change in Sri Lanka.
The war-ravaged political doctrine has exposed the hegemony and lost its purpose. The same countries that supported the war efforts are calling for UN action because of the excesses that were carried out beyond International Humanitarian Law. Those countries the Sri Lankan called on to protect the sovereignty of Sri Lanka are violating the sovereignty and Sri Lankan interests. Let’s seek homegrown solutions that can end unaccountability, violence, hunger and corruption with a new Social Contract that will address all past commissions and omissions. End the fear of persecution, undemocratic governance and unacceptable expenditures. Whilst we starve we cannot allocate funds for a defence force that fights no enemy or a bloated government service sector that swallows all resources that are meant for people.
The remedies cannot be brought by the law alone. Devolution has been absorbed into the constitution but never implemented by politicians. Even agreements have been made since 1957 but all agreements and talks have been reneged or aborted and resulted in maladministration. The real change has to come from the hearts and minds of the people. History has documented the magnanimity of the Sinhalese people who stood firm risking their own lives to defend the people and their properties in 1958, 1977 and 1983 anti-Tamil pogroms though many were sadly massacred. The survivors and injured were sent by ships to Tamil Homeland from refugee camps in Colombo as the final solution for those victims. The culture of impunity does not allow justice and no one ever been brought to justice to date. Yes, we believe in the new generations Sri Lanka has produced beyond the ethnic divide to end ethnic injustice.
Many of you have been visiting war-ravaged areas in the North-East and have seen for yourself the extent of the destruction the Tamil civilians were subjected to the brunt of the war. Mothers and fathers are still looking for their children. Children are still looking for their parents. Their lives have been destroyed but the remedial justice and psycho-social support had been delayed for them. It’s a humanitarian crisis which needs an urgent and lasting solution addressing guarantees of non-recurrence. The delayed justice has taken the responsibility of justice to international fora as Sri Lanka remains the party to the crime.
It’s beyond any doubt that Sri Lanka is at a crossroad and need to be salvaged from its foundation i.e. politically and economically. We are ready, willing and able to work shoulder to shoulder with you all to salvage the country and it is high time we do away with the bloody past and overcome mistrust and hegemonic behaviour. Let’s come together to salvage this country, which was once a role model for many democracies around the world, and all.
The injustice over the years must be addressed to end the ongoing atrocity crimes, to embark on the constitutional reforms to end the hegemony, unaccountability and power-sharing structure in the multi-ethnic and multi-national country of Sri Lanka defining power-sharing that encompass security sector reforms and vetting of all defence forces that may have contributed to the mass atrocities of 1988-1990 and 2009 Mullivaikal massacre.
The Aragalaya or the recent people’s struggle has created an opportunity for the people to come together beyond their ethnic, religious and racial identities for the betterment of the country. Let’s go further to address the national issue in the same breath with one single goal to rescue our mother country once and for all. Be it a Unitary state or federal, all that the people want in effect is that their potential to be fully realised individually and collectively, and for their rights to be guaranteed, independence and identities to be protected wherever there have been living historically and the territory that has protected them.