Thursday, May 21, 2009
The Tamil Tigers gone?
Lately, I have been receiving several questions over my Tamil identity - Does that mean you are Srilankan? Was Tamil Nadu (the name of my state in India) a part of Sri Lanka? Then was Sri Lanka a part of India?
Sri Lanka was conquered by several rulers in ancient India like the Chola, Chera, Pallava and Pandya dynasties. Interestingly, Sri Lanka was colonized by the Portuguese and also the Dutch around 16th century before it was finally ceded to the British Empire in 1815. Sri Lanka was never a part of the British India. The British though took several workers from Tamil Nadu to work in Sri Lanka, eventually creating a considerable Tamil population there. Being a minority, they face considerable discrimination over the Sinhalese majority and the demand of this Tamil population in north and east of Sri Lanka to create a separate state (Tamil Elam) being the main cause of conflict between the Srilankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) for over a quarter of a century.
So no! I am not a Srilankan and no, the words Tamil and Tigers do not always go together. :)
We had an intense discussion about the situation in Sri Lanka in my department at TU/e and since I am Tamil everybody wanted to hear my take on the issue. Well,what can I say? In the name of justice both sides committed attrocious mass murdering of the people caught in between. It will always be bewildering to me how in time, some races kill other races for their survival and some kill their own. With no media to report things accurately and the LTTE leader having a reputation of using several duplicates (sounds like a movie plot uh?), some are skeptical about his death reports. By the way, why would he carry his identity papers with him? Just so that nobody has any inconvenience in recognizing his identification when they catch him!?
I am more or less convinced though that he is gone and I can't help appreciating the sheer grit of the government against the cries of the entire world. There is a whole new beginning for Sri Lanka, waiting for them. I hope their government seizes this opportunity to, if not undo but repair and heal some of the grave injusictices that they have committed, IMMEDIATELY. Equality and Justice, two simple concepts in principle but in practice so far has caused most of the miseries of mankind.
Oh! Just in case, Tamil is a classical language, spoken in parts of India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia and Mauritius.
Picture Courtesy - http://www.topnews.in