Why I Write ...

Purely as a form of expression to the emotions that run riot in my life at different junctures. This blog has seen several title revisions that also reflect the state of being and evolution I am constantly in. If one were to remain stagnant in hope of never changing their temporal present, one will awaken someday to much regret. Life is about living, evolving and adapting to the constant changes all around us.

My spot on the web is essentially a journey along with my monologue ramblings of my coherent mind accompanied by the incoherent thing called life. Read me if you like ... if you don't it is not the end of the world. I am at the very least a believer in humility lifts us further than pride.

Happy trails

19 May 2009

Is The War Really Over ... May 19, 2009

News of the LTTE waged war come to a crashing end and news about the death of Vellupillai Prabakaran it's leader trickles out.

Some say he managed to escape. Others say he is dead. The fighting has come to an end. Others around wait till the Sri Lankan Army releases images of the dead LTTE leader.

North Indian friends say good riddance, for they still harbour anger for what has been notoriously linked with the LTTE - the suicide bomber that killed Rajiv Gandhi.

Just over the weekend, my father spent two and half hours listening to Prabakaran's brother in a broadcast of a gathering covered in Tamilnad - are there sympathisers to the cause still in Tamilnad - afterall the speaker openly claimed that firepower was provided and shipped from this south indian state to the predominantly Tamil north Sri Lanka.

I know scores of separate Tamil state supporters and until very recent weeks I was still receiving sms-es asking to support to cause. I am half Ceylonese. I do not deny my part heritage, in fact my mother's father's family has a very interesting history ... but that is a past now lost, no more royal days, we are but common people now.

My sister put it quite succinctly yesterday when she said for 30years and thousands dead, not an inch of Tamil state was achieved. One then begins to wonder, where did it all go wrong.

The Sinhala majority in Sri Lanka, quite like our NEP sheltered Malays have since the independence from the British taken an upper hand in things. I found it most interesting when in 1995 I spent 6 weeks in Sri Lanka, some weeks amongst the displaced Tamils in Colombo in their cramped slums where clean water and proper sewerage was impossible to see. Where children also had no access to education except for what was provided within the commpound walls.

I also met displaced Indian Tamils, who were once also landowners but who because of the fighting now found themselves in equally sad state of affairs. To Sri Lanka, they were Indians, to India they were Sri Lankans - and their lot after losing land and home and a sense of belonging, a tiny tin shed in a slum to call home.

My maternal ancestors are proud Sri Lankan Tamils. They once owned large spreads of land rich and flourishing. My mom's last visit in 2004, to Jaffna and other pockets where our family were from, saw abandoned land pock marked with the scars of endless battles.

One grand aunt's shelled house structure clings on in pieces to her sister's house that miraculously was spared a direct hit because one son volunteered for the LTTE - no one has heard from him since in over 25 years I think. All other able bodied educated younger relatives have long since moved abroad and settle globally giving their children and grandchildren a shot at living a peaceful life.

Some of the older generation stayed on, hoping someday this war would end, someday peace would once again descend in the north and once again the lands would be rich in harvest bounty. I know most of my grand aunts and uncles have died waiting for that day to come. And I think many other friends have seen much the same happen to their families too.

When I was in Sri Lanka in 1995, I never made it up north. Too much fighting was on-going and Elephant Pass was inaccessible. It was no man's land. Sometime in the late 90s, the mother of one of my mom's friends when to the north, to visit family that was still there. That 75 year old lady ended walking 2 weeks through fighting to get back unto the safe zone to finally find transport to Colombo to fly out home to Malaysia.

Too much pain. Too many lives lost. And the Tamil people of Sri Lanka's dreams of a separate state now hang in the wind. What of it. There was a line I saw on BBC.com - a Sinhala woman said "We shouldn't be triumphalist" and I think she has a point.

The coverage shows people celebrating the end of the war, but I ask is it really the end. If the majority Sinhala continue to suppress the Tamils and Muslims who are minorities, this will continue to give reason for dissent.

There is also concern that "a hunt for Tigers and traitors will continue - reflecting on the hard line the government has often taken towards dissenting voices and those it accuses of giving comfort to the rebels."

I think the people of Sri Lanka need to heal from all this warring. And I think the Sinhala government should open table talks with the Tamils and Muslims, giving each a chance to speak of a better tomorrow for all of them.

Most Sinhalas cannot speak or understand Tamil, but most Tamils speak Sinhala - kinda like how all other Malaysians speak Malay - to get anywhere you need to adapt and assimilate.

I pray and wish peace upon Sri Lanka as a whole. To those who see their dreams of a separate Tamil state now in disarray, perhaps we need to revisit the reasons, and take to the table like gentlemen. Perhaps the Sinhala government may not be so ready to hear your side out, but look at what 30years of taking up arms has done. Has it gotten you any closer to your dreams or shattered them and pushed it further into remaining unrealised.

To those who sat in safe comforts of the west and other countries and supported and funded this war, you had your reasons for doing so. Now it might be time to support and fund the recontruction of a devastated land. Some of you might be anxious that your refugee status might now be revoked and you will have to lock stock and barrel return to your homeland, perhaps your motives in funding the war was also purely selfish, because it let you live in comfort and safety, while those thousands who could not afford to leave for safety were left to survive the harsh realities of war.

Even though Malaysia is my home and I am only 50% Sri Lankan Tamil, but I realise how much pain and suffering has taken place - and it is not right in Sri Lanka, it is not right in the middle east - it is just not right for innocents to die for the ideology of a few.

When will mankind realise, the time of war and senseless loss of life must come to an end.