Reconciliation Initiatives cannot exclude Sinhala Diaspora


From the UN Secretary General downwards a chorus of people are chirping reconciliation and plugging the word into every press release issued. The latest is a press release that follows secret talks between Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister, a Norwegian former envoy who is besotted with the Tamil factor, South African NGO and groups supposed to represent the Tamil Diaspora. One of the key outcomes or demands of these discussions is to consider LTTE as political prisoners and release these hard core unrehabilitated cadres while on the gesture of reconciliation lift the ban on the LTTE and LTTE fronts declared banned under UN Security Council Resolution 1373.

 It is from the population of 20million Sri Lankans that people have migrated to foreign shores. When Sinhalese are over 74% of the population it is natural that the migrations over the years would be more Sinhalese than Tamils or Muslims. A case and example in point is that while there are only 50,000 Tamils in Australia there are 90,000 Sinhalese in Australia. Therefore, even though the largest concentration of Tamils may be in Canada, the likelihood of Sinhala Diaspora prevailing across US, UK, EU and other parts of the world demands that if the new government intends to indulge in any discussions of reconciliation with Diaspora it must always include the Sinhalese Diaspora groups as well (whether they are represented as organizations or individually).

No decision can be taken without the Sinhalese Diaspora having a say otherwise it is a sheer hypocrisy and a one-sided opinion only.

 Moreover, what must also be highlighted is the present discussions taking place are with groups linked to and banned as LTTE fronts. These groups were linked to LTTE in being linked to LTTE they have been guilty of soliciting funds through various legal & illegal means to provide financial and material support to LTTE terror. This makes these groups anti-Tamil because we continue to argue on the logic that while ALL TAMILS ARE NOT LTTE – ALL LTTE WERE TAMILS! Therefore throughout the conflict these groups were serving the interests of the LTTE and not the Tamils.

 This is proven by the Human Rights Watch report that showcases with examples of how LTTE diaspora groups were forcing Tamils overseas and in Sri Lanka to donate to the LTTE cause. Organizations and individuals who had been involved in extortions and other rackets raising funds, carrying out fund raisers to collect money to buy arms, ammunition and other materials should have no right to be making decisions on behalf of the Tamils who were living overseas in fear and having to monthly contribute to the LTTE kitty or else face fatal or body harm – numerous cases of deaths, bodily harm to Tamils, destruction of their shops, property for those that failed to make monthly disbursements are examples that can be highlighted.

Funding the “Final War” LTTE Intimidation and Extortion in the Tamil Diaspora (45 page report)

 I have a brother there [Sri Lanka]. I don’t want him to get hurt. I’m going to do whatever they ask.
—Toronto woman asked for funds by the LTTE

 “When they asked for the money, they looked at their file. They asked how long we had lived in this house. After we told them, they said, ‘$5,000.’”

 It is with these same groups that discussions are taking place because they are looking for more ways to generate income using the Tamil Cause as an excuse.

 Whereas there are countless Sinhala Diaspora groups throughout the world who had been doing an untiring service to the nation attempting on their own without assistance of the State to challenge and counter the false propaganda that these LTTE linked Diaspora groups were engaged in over decades.

These Sinhala Diaspora groups need to be given due credit for the work they have done. They are unsung heroes & heroines amongst them who have voluntarily and from their own personal funds without expectations gone out of their way to put their birth country first realizing the unfairness & injustice being meted out to the country by the UN, foreign envoys, NGO paid lackeys, other international organizations all of whom had some links with these LTTE diaspora groups at personal levels questioning their integrity of unbiased decision making.

 What needs to be categorically said is that if the Diaspora is to be involved and any entity is to seek the views and opinions of the Diaspora, the Sinhalese Diaspora cannot be omitted from these discussions or decision making.

 Any time discussions are being held by the GOSL with Diaspora groups the Sinhala Diaspora must be represented and no decision can be taken by discussing only with Tamil Diaspora especially the groups that had links to LTTE which show cases that they are not representatives of the Tamil people. Tamils living abroad are keeping silent because their lives are being threatened by these LTTE linked diaspora therefore they should never be included in any discussions whatsoever.

 With the new government not realizing the extent of the dangers involved and the manner fund raising overseas has recommenced, we return to square one where Tamils living overseas return to fear and donating to a bogus cause because it enables these LTTE linked groups to become rich!

 Whereas the Sinhala Diaspora groups have never solicited funds except to use their own personal funds to counter the lies internationally and project the truth. Therefore, the view point of the Sinhala Diaspora needs to be taken stock of at all times!

 Shenali D Waduge

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