Monday, May 25, 2009

To the Diaspora..

Disclaimer: Throughout this article who I refer to as members of Diaspora are the minority of extremists amongst them. I fully understand that there are moderate, equal minded people and I don't wish to offend them at all! 

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I came across this comment made by an individual on the 23rd April 2009 dated article of the Economist titled 'Sri Lanka's war: To the bitter end'.

Muttiah wrote:

May 6, 2009 16:00

Dear Author,
Tamils are convinced already that the war against the Tigers is on behalf of all Sri Lankans, including Tamils.

However, reading some comments here substantiates how LTTE disappointed their global network of propagandists, financial donors who fuelled this misery, and specially those who funded this war with selfish expectations for major favours in their future Eelam.
Those who are fabricating stories and twisting the truth, should see for themselves, these safe heavens created for our very own brothers and sisters who have crossed the line with hope.
Despite their own financial problems, knowing that there is quite a number of ex-LTTE cadres who surrendered, Sri-Lankan civilians, mostly Sinhalese who have been the target of LTTE terrorism, keep collecting contributions for the Tamil refugees in North. But what have the expatriate pro-LTTE Tamils done for their own community?

My dear brothers,
We Tamils need to realize the truth that Eelam was just a mirage and that LTTE was the most horrible thing that ever happened to us. If you are enjoying a comfy life in west you will never realize, but if you come to Sri-Lanka and visit the IDP camps you will comprehend what our own Tamils in North & East went through with your treasured freedom fighters.
We dont need an Eelam. We are Tamils in Sri-Lanka, where great Tamils like Murali, Lakshman Kadiragamar and Dr.Neelan Thiruchelvam were born.

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I'm not Tamil, I'm Sinhalese. I'm not Hindu, I am Buddhist. I'm not living abroad, I live in Sri Lanka. But I am liberal minded. I believe in living equally with all ethnicities for I feel that this whole argument is so pointless. We are only different by which language we learnt to speak from birth. Nothing else. To quote a notable quote 'when we are cut, we all bleed'. Out of all the people I know in Sri Lanka of my age, I can only name one person who I see as an extremist. And I don't particularly care much for that person. 

As per my previous post, as someone who has lived in this country, I have witnessed a lot. As people of this country, our population has been through a LOT. They have ALL felt fear. They have ALL felt anger. and they have ALL felt sympathy. 

As the author in the above comment states, people in the South and notably Colombo (I am just extrapolating this to the other parts of the country) are doing everything in their power to collect food, clothing, medicines and other essential items to send to the persons in the North. Until I read this statement from Mr. Muttiah it didn't strike me that we were Sinhalese sending things to Tamils. I just don't process things like that. And I'm sure a majority of the Sri Lankans I know, who were born and bred in Sri Lanka, don't think of things like that either.

This is why, when I went to uni in London, and I met this girl who was Sri Lankan but bred in London and she asked me 'Are you Sinhalese or Tamil?', I was actually offended. Not to mention shocked. Thats sort of taboo where I come from. And ill-mannered. Needless to say, i got asked this a lot when I said I'm from Sri Lanka. Some foreigners even asked me whether I was a Tiger. I was like 'WHAT are you smoking?!' but wa-hey, they are foreigners, let them think what they want. Anyway, back to our expat Sri Lankans. 

I can't help but feel that these Sri Lankan diaspora members - be they Sinhalese or Tamil -  are living in the '80s. That can be the only reason why the Sinhalese members supported the war so vehemently in the face of so much anguish for Tamil civilians and the Tamil members are so angry that the LTTE was wiped out. Furthermore, some of the Tamil diaspora members behaving so vilely as to throw acid on innocent Sinhalese students in Australia - that is just despicable. When us, who are in Sri Lanka, who have lived through fear and terror and war for the past 26 years just want this 'nadagama' (shabang) to just STOP. Here are people, far away in the safety of their adopted nations, acting like vicious hooligans. 

For what? I hear them ask for another uprising of the LTTE - I ask them, is your youth going to come to a country they barely know and they have barely visited and fight against an elected government? Or are you suggesting that the Tamil youth in Sri Lanka take up arms again for some sort of strange dream of yours? And WHY do you want Eelam so badly? So that you have some place to vacation? So that when things go badly in your adopted countries, you can still glorify the legitimate struggles of the people who actually stayed on here? And the Sinhalese members, please don't bring your outdated racism back into this game. It has no place here. I say, read the news, read our blogs, read our online newspapers (Sunday Leader is an ubiased view) and get to know the reality of this country as it is and teach your children that. Not what you experienced 30 years ago. Find the good in our people and do what you can from your much developed nations to enhance that. 

You have a choice to support us, Sri Lankans, in going ahead and re-building this nation. But to stir up hate, draw boundaries, initiate terrorism -you really don't have a say in it. 

10 comments:

The Benevolent Dictator said...

Well said. I had the identical reaction to you when I first encountered the same question overseas! Both Tamils and Sinhalese living abroad seem obsessed with this..the Tamils more than the Sinhalese. I wish they could live here for a few months and see that, at least in Colombo, no one really cares who you are. You're spot on when you say that it seems like they're living in the 80s.

The Tamil diaspora needs to grow up. Seriously. That Sydney attack was just unbelievable. Those idiots need to be put behind bars for a very long time.

Rine said...

Thanks very much B.D. Its just ridiculous that these people think they even have a say in these matters! They should grow a set and come back if thats the case. Not many things piss me off when it comes to this war because I try be as liberal minded as I can, but they are just out of order!

Scrumpulicious said...

Is it wrong to love you?! It has been a while.

Rine said...

Haha Scrumpilicious! So cute... I am a girl too but go for it haha

DeeCee said...

good stuff! "So that you have some place to vacation?" :D

aufidius said...

nice!

Rine said...

:P its true though isn't it. Most of that new generation look down upon SL, so its not like they gonna pack their bags and move into Eelam. Thanks for stopping by DeeCee & aufidius!

Voice in Colombo said...

Thanks for posting this one. As soon I read Indi's post with the same title; I thought of writing a post with the identical title but a different message. You have done it here better than me. Well explained and well questioned!

I loved this part "I ask them, is your youth going to come to a country they barely know and they have barely visited and fight against an elected government? " his is the exact question I have in my mind, when I hear the news of "diaspora uprise".

I blame it on both sections of the diaspora; Tamil & Sinhala. I've read a dscussion thread on Facebook, where a member of Sinhala diaspora arguing on the fact that Sinhalese should not say sorry to Tamils for what happened in 83. These type of useless discussion give opportunity for more grievances. We have waited a long time to end this war. Now we; the people who actually live in this country have lot more rebuilding work to do than debating our vowing to cut throats of each other at next given chance.

To cut a long story short; To both Sinhalese and Tamil diaspora.....

Mind your own business and let us be in peace. Please don't screw this once again! We can re-unite as a one nation, and we will. If you want to help; send us some money! Or come to Sri Lanka and start your life all over, but you have to do it our way! Otherwise, just keep your big mouths shut and go back to your work.

Jack Point said...

Nice post.

I avoid the diaspora like the plague when overseas.

Most of the time I pretend to be Indian, a lot of people assume I am Indian anyway.

Rine said...

Thanks VIC & Jack Point!