Thursday, September 20, 2007

நீதியும் பெளத்தர்களின் மனச்சாட்சியும் -- Justice and the Buddhist conscience

Sri Lanka is said to be one of the most literate countries in Asia due to its free education system. The people therefore should be fully aware of the atrocities committed on the Tamil minority of the north east by the state military. Their Buddhist conscience should surely tell them that the war against the Tamils is wrong and immoral.

The Sinhalese are in the majority (72%) and mostly Buddhists. At one stage, the Sri Lankan government even declared Poya days (full moon days) as holidays and worked on Sundays while the rest of the world were asleep. One can imagine how it would have affected their exports and import business and their international shipping and transportation. This rather unusual action was to show the world their commitment to Buddhism, come what may.

Destructive policies

Despite being Buddhists, they seem to be complacent about the unnecessary war that has been declared on the Tamil minority in the north east, where most of them have lived from time immemorial. Even in Israel there are a number of Jews demanding justice for Palestinians. But in Sri Lanka — the Paradise Isle — except for a handful of people, there are no cries worthy of note by the Sinhala Buddhists against Sri Lanka’s destructive policies and violation of human rights — which is itself anti-Buddhist!

Depoliticise the Buddhist clergy

The time has come for the Sinhala intelligentsia and the ruling elite to see sense and show Buddhist compassion, and use pressure on the state to stop the war. Negotiations should be re-started with a view to allowing the Tamils to live in freedom from state violence and discrimination. It is also time to depoliticise the Buddhist clergy and send them back to the temples where they rightly belong. They must not be allowed to interfere in governance, which is not their role and for which they are not equipped at all.

Attitude problem

The Sinhalese seem to have the wrong attitude regarding their place in history, due mainly to the mythologies of the Mahawamsa, the old journal of history written in Pali by Buddhist monks. They have been made to believe that the island is the exclusive property of the Sinhala Buddhists and that they have divine rights over the minorities who have to live on the grace and favour of the Sinhala Buddhist majority.

Role of media

In a highly literate country like Sri Lanka, it is obvious that the media plays a very important role in shaping the thinking of the people. They have the power of the pen which, they say, is ‘mightier than the Sword.’ So why don’t they use it to defuse and remedy such an ugly situation where the so-called Theravada Buddhists are supporting the destructive and racist policies of the corrupt government?

Successive governments from the time of independence have continued to follow the same racist policies against the Tamil minority with the support of the media. The media must expose the corruption of the politicians. Recently, over Rs. 20 million had been spent by the President and his cronies to witness the cricket matches in Barbados, when it could have been better spent on the people still suffering from the war and the tsunami. It reminds one of Roman Emperor Nero fiddling while Rome was burning! The taxes paid by the people and the large income from Middle-East workers are being vainly squandered by the corrupt politicians and arms dealers who are doing everything to perpetuate the war for their gain.

Tamils not aliens

For how long are the Sinhalese going to treat the Tamils like aliens — as if they did not belong to the island?

What is urgently needed is an explosion of Buddhist conscience. Wouldn’t it be a victory for Buddhism if the Sinhala Buddhists feel ashamed of these actions against the Tamil minority? Shouldn’t the Buddhist monks withdraw from politics and spend more time in spreading the dhamma instead of going in Mercedes Benz cars?

If the Jews can speak up for the Arabs in Palestine, shouldn’t fair-minded Sinhalese do likewise? In the end, only Buddhism would be able to resolve this long-standing ethnic problem started in the first place by Buddhist monks, who refused to let Bandaranaike grant federalism to the Tamils and forced Tamils to take up arms and demand a separate state.

"All that is needed for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing." — Edmund Burke

— Lt. Col. Anton J.N. Selvadurai (Retd), The Morning Leader, Wednesday, September 19,2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

இலங்கை ஒரு நாஸி நாடு. அமெரிக்கா இலங்கைக்கு உதவக் கூடாது : அமெரிக்கப் பத்திரிகை

இலங்கை ஒரு நாஸி நாடு எனவும், அமெரிக்கா இலங்கை அரசுக்கு உதவக் கூடாது எனவும் அமெரிக்காவில் Cincinnati யில் இருந்து வெளிவரும் The Enquirer எனும் பத்திரிகை ஆசிரியர் தலையங்கத்தில் [editorials] தெரிவித்துள்ளது.

அவ் ஆசிரியர் தலையங்கம் [editorials ]கீழே :

If you think Naziism or apartheid are long gone, you would do well to continue reading. Last month in Sri Lanka, 500 Tamils were forcibly evicted by police from the capital city of Colombo. They, along with 300 others who were detained, either lived in the capital or had been visiting for reasons including medical treatment. The police chief's explanation: ethnic minority Tamils cannot stay in the capital "without a valid reason."

"Police didn't listen to us. They tried to beat us, they where scolding and they put us into the vehicles," explained a 54-year old mother. "They made us to leave the place with whatever cloth we were dressed with. We didn't even take our clothes."

Although Naziism may be dead in name, the philosophy behind it is alive and well in Sri Lanka. Even that country's opposition leader agrees, comparing this to the treatment of Jews in Germany and blacks in South Africa. Norway and America condemned the mass eviction, and several non-governmental organizations called it a disgrace to humanity.

So should all of us simply join the chorus of condemnation, and then proceed to forget Sri Lanka? If the eviction were an aberration, perhaps. But Tamils know it is just the latest in a decades-long story of state terrorism that amounts to genocide.

If you don't care much for Sri Lanka, consider this: the U.S. is sending $60 million in aid to the Sri Lankan military. As the Tamils fight a war of liberation, exactly what kind of military has Sri Lanka shown itself to have? It's not pretty. The armed forces have been criticized repeatedly for murdering journalists, professors, students and members of parliament. The air force is known for bombing schools, churches, refugee camps and orphanages. The army blocks food and medicine from reaching hundreds of thousands of Tamils displaced by the war. Last year soldiers massacred 17 non-governmental organization workers by lining them up and shooting them at close range.

Surely it is reasonable that, when I give up hard-earned money to taxes, I assume it goes to improving our country or maybe helping the needy overseas, not to filling the coffers of a wildly murderous military. Especially at a time when our own forces are near breaking point in Iraq and Afghanistan, why are we throwing money at Sri Lanka?

And let's not forget the Indian Ocean tsunami - how well do disaster victims, many still in temporary camps, fare when an army that kills civilians is given free money? I don't like seeing my taxes go to random pork barrel spending, let alone foreign military oppression.

During the Holocaust or apartheid in South Africa, the international community did not act fast enough. After the atrocities of Rwanda, we said "never again." As the horrors of Darfur unfold, Americans are finally taking action. We must do the same for Sri Lanka.

The Nazi-style mass eviction of Tamils is one part of a long genocidal streak, and we cannot sit back and watch. As our government funds the Sri Lankan military, inaction implies not just neutrality, but complicity.

The Enquirer ன் இவ் ஆசிரியர் தலையங்கத்திற்கான சுட்டி இங்கே.

இவ் ஆசிரியர் தலையங்கத்தினைத் தமிழில் மொழிபெயர்த்து பின்னர் பதிவேற்றுகிறேன்.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

மனதுக்கு நிம்மதி...மகிழ்ச்சியான செய்தி...

பழ.நெடுமாறன் ஐயா அவர்கள் உண்ணா நோன்பு இருக்கப் போவதாக அறிவித்ததும் மனம் பதைத்துப் போனது. இருதய அறுவைச் சிகிச்சைக்கு ஆளாகியவர். அவர் உண்ணா நோன்பு இருந்தால் அவரின் உடல்நிலை பாதிக்கப்பட்டு விபரீதமான விளைவுகள் ஏற்பட்டு விடுமோ என மனம் பயத்தில் உறைந்தது.

முதல்வர் கலைஞர் மு.கருணாநிதி, மருத்துவர் இராமதாசு, அண்ணன் வைகோ மற்றும் ஈழத் தமிழ்த் தலைவர் இரா.சம்பந்தன் போன்றோரின் அன்புக் கோரிக்கைக்கும், முதல்வர் கலைஞர் , மற்றும் மருத்துவர் இராமதாசு போன்றோரின் உறுதிமொழிக்கும் செவி சாய்த்து அவர் உண்ணா நோன்பைக் கைவிட்டு விட்டார் என இன்று செய்தி வந்ததும் மனதில் மட்டற்ற மகிழ்ச்சி ஏற்பட்டது. இப்போதுதான் நிம்மதியாக இருக்கிறது.

பழ.நெடுமாறன் ஐயா அவர்களின் உண்ணா நோன்பை முடிவுக்குக் கொண்டுவர அயராது உழைத்த அனைவருக்கும் என் நன்றிகள்.

பழ.நெடுமாறன் ஐயா அவர்களின் உண்ணா நோன்பு குறித்த தகவல்களை உடனுக்குடன் பதிவேற்றிய சக பதிவர் நண்பர் கோ.சுகுமாரன் அவர்களுக்கும் என் சிறப்பு நன்றிகள்.