E. Way Vs. H. Way : Mohamed Nisthar

Mohamed S R NistharDon’t be mislead at the outset by seeing the headline. It’s not Mrs. E. Way taking Mr. H. Way to a civil court in a divorce proceedings. And of course the above is nothing to do with English people either. It’s about the diasporas and their bizarre behaviour.

Two of my friends, who are from a Tamil ethnicity, are fairly educated and seem to have good views on many things yet they take issue with me on Sri Lankan politics. One of them, though  a heavy reader of  many things, is stubborn when it comes to Sri Lankan politics. He chooses a particular website to update his political knowledge, despite me encouraging him to surf different websites and use his own mental ability to form a unbiased views. But he refuses to do so, his reasoning being that he knows the basis of the issue.  The Singhalese are oppressors and the Tamils are oppressed, thus the Singhalese are all bad and the Tamils are all good. There is nothing in between. This is his summary of the issue. Permanent cure for this burning ethnic issue is cession. Cutting Sri Lanka into two like a cake. The Singhalese have their share and the Tamils have theirs. Criticizing tigers or their late leader is a betrayal of the Tamil cause. 

On the other hand, the other friend, who was once active in Tamil politics at the time of the famous notion, “why those who ruled once can’t rule again” and distanced himself from politics on his  beloved leader Mr. Appapillai Amirthalingam’s   assassination  to the extent that he did not know who the Sri Lankan president was and what the other Rajapaksas got to do with the Sri Lankan government until recently. He has however refuelled the passion at the time of the demise of the Tamil tigers’ leader Mr. V. Prabharan.  He may have been overwhelmed by the electronic media and tired of talking about politics publicly. However he accuses, with respect, everyone who writes in the electronic media of having a lack of responsibility in putting forward ideas or suggestions in  solving the ethnic problems. He views the writers as champions or as the sort of people, who pass their leisure time using pen and paper in vain.

What my friends and hundreds of thousands of diasporas with a similar thinking capacity miss here is a vital point; that it is just two months since the tigers lost their irreplaceable  leader after a quarter century long saga, which has created the current conundrum. And they can’t  expect those, who write, to shut up and go on with their normal business since they  put up their case. Yes, of course there have been many more people writing about  Tamils politics, the Tamil tigers and incidental matters. And of course there are many who are simply getting advantage out of this riddle. But not all do the same dirty media dancing. These writings may seem similar in their face value but they are different in their ways, shapes and forms. These are intended to reach a different level of people and make them go for a quest. These are the indirect clues for strengthening any viable  solution. These are the natural reaction of a society whose legitimate right to free speech have long been denied. These are the voice of people who think that they have a duty towards their fellow citizens. 

Those who have the ability and reason to write, criticise, comment and suggest should not hold back. They should contribute their share with commitment and try to ameliorate the situation regardless of the criticism they are faced with.  At the same time  they should not attempt anything prematurely,   and  they should not do anything with only half the knowledge which may lead to dangerous consequences, because others, like my friends, say they should do.

The ethnic question in Sri Lanka has not been without any suggested solutions. Separate state is a solution, accepting provincial council under a unitary constitution is another solution. Similarly  Tamil politicians merging fully with national parties may be a solution or the newly born idea of Tamils completely migrating to a barren territory in Canada or the southern tip of Argentina  can be another solution or foolishly continuing arm struggle is one more to add. But materialising any decent solution, which the Tamils will be fairly satisfied with,  is the problem.  Neither the residues of Tamil tigers nor the anti tigers have a mechanism to achieve any of it.  Many dare to say “Singhalawan modaian and Thamilan arivaali”. In fact it seems the other way round, because the Tamils always try something hard rather than easy. 

Think about the “SRI” struggle, it was not a thing in time immemorial, which once made Sri Lankans  hate each other, the Singhalese and Tamils, for years,  and how cleverly it was  solved. A simple word from a Singhalese parliamentarian silently resolved the seemingly stupid struggle. We say the “Sri” struggle was stupid for the fact that no Tamils resisted carrying a Sri Lankan passport with “Sri” at a latter stage, while vigorously resisting to have same “Sri” on the number plate of their vehicle. Haven’t  we got anything to learn from this? 

The Tamils could and should have resolved the “Singhala Only” Act by cleverly turning it to the Tamils’ benefit. What could have been an easy solution to rising tensions, turned out to be a defining event for nationalistic feelings. Even after manifestly winning a few crucial fights by Tamil tigers, the Tamils had ample opportunities to accept a fairly satisfactory solution, but their adamant or rightly saying greedy behaviour redirected their route to hard way solutions rather than easy ones.

One time activist at the Jaffna University, one of the editorial board members and regular columnist of Oru Paper, Mr. Ravi Arunachalam (aka  Seyon) wrote a couple of months before the perish of the Tamil tigers that Tamils want not simply one separate state but two, one is Tamil Ealam in Sri Lanka and the other one is Tamil Nadu in India. This is a fine sign of greediness. This is the columnist who blindly defames anyone who even constructively criticizes the Tamil tigers. His writings remind readers of Oru Paper that there should not be a neutral position for people in the Tamil question and whoever takes that position, is in his view, a traitor. This kind of view, whatever Tamil tigers did was right and will always be right and needing no scrutiny, distanced the right minded Tamils from the arm struggle, an undesirable way to handle a politically resolvable problem, like Tamils’ one in Sri Lanka.

Presumably an indoctrinated  reader of  Seyon or like writers has posted a remark in an internet article after the demise of the tigers that Sri Lankan Tamils must align with China, no matter how bad they have been in Sri Lankan politics, and do whatever necessary to destroy the stability of India and make the federal states system collapse.  This is another sign of the insane mentality which the diasporas have. They have not thought for a second that the idea of interfering with Indian politics negatively is like children passionately playing with fire. This is the very hardest, most dangerous and virtually impossible way of achieving anything good for Tamils.

Anti tiger Tamil politicians in Sri Lanka have been tolled and portrayed to be anti Tamils for no reasons other than being anti tigers. Moderate Singhalese politicians, who concern themselves with Tamils grievances and are willing to approach sympathetically have not been welcomed by Singhala chauvinists and Tamil tigers.  The fellow Tamil speakers, Sri Lankan Moors, were deemed to be less important. The “athiham paditha” Tamils like Dr. Sachchi Srikantha still believe that the tigers were right in their attempt of ethnically cleansing the Moors. Probably an everlasting obstacle in cajoling the Moors for a future political union with Tamils.    

A recent example of hard way choice was the ‘Vanni Mission,’ the relief aid could have been sent through proper channels to the people in the camps in their time of need. Since they tried the hard way, it is still not clear whether this aid has reached its destination.

Similarly the latest ridiculous idea of creating a transnational government for Tamils of Sri Lanka  by few Tamil foreign nationals is another trial of risking the lives of  innocent Tamils who faced near death experiences and are trapped behind barbed wire camps. Their very fate to be or not to be there forever in the camps is to be seen through the Tamil foreign nationals activities.

The above all show one thing clearly time and again that the Tamils have opted for hard way  solutions for their political grievances rather than easy way ones. Why is that? Is there no one audacious to emerge and say that the hard way solution is not the direction for the Tamils’ political journey and reroute to easy ways? Unless easy ways are clearly identified by the society  and they work on them with open hearts, the writers will not retire.  Criticism, comments and remarks will continue with the satisfaction that at least  they discharge their duty towards the community they belong to or do business with.

Show More
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • manithan

    good view,nice words,

  • kumarathasan

    good view and nice words but lack of my english knowledge couldnt help further.there is light shining which will clear the dark.hope brings hope nisthar is our hope.please write in tamil we can also understand.

  • manithan

    yes please in future wrote in tamil ,so many readers can read easy to your view thanks