Good morning members of the United Nations. I erg you all to see the tragedy of Sri Lanka as it is vital that mediation from you is present during this post war contingency. I wish to inform you of the situation which is occurring in Sri Lanka in deep hope that you will lend assistance to achieve unity and peace. With the danger of being insensitive, it must be stressed that the discrimination experienced by the Tamil people at the hands for the Sinhalese, was not a sufficient justification for the devastation caused by the Tamil’s terrorist methods. Although the United Nations has developed mechanisms to bring peace within Sri Lanka they have evidently failed as they were poorly coordinated and ineffectively designed. These methods simply aim to bring a sense of normality to effected communities (http://www.undp.lk/). However, this campaign does not stress the imperativeness of peace and encouraging non-violent methods for the Tamils. The United Nations primary function is to render assistance to its members therefore actions to achieve peace by non- belligerent means in Sri Lanka needs to be taken. The departure of the British came with the creation of a discriminative nation governed wholly by the Sinhalese people. The rise of militant Tamil separatist nationalism in the 1980s consequently began the civil war. Here in Sri Lanka, nationalism is viewed as a political struggle of dominant or subordinate groups in core or peripheral regions for the continuation or end of domination and exploitation. The outcome of the Civil War did not give the Tamils their desired separate nation- sate, making loss of life and destruction ultimately pointless. Strong recommendations need to be made to the Tamil and Sinhalese population in order to build peace for present day and the future. The Tamil Tigers should have acknowledged defeat many years ago and for the well-being of the Tamil people, the LTTE should have without a doubt withdrawn their terrorism.
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I’m not dismissing the discrimination and oppression which has been placed upon the Tamils. When the British departed Sri Lanka in the 1940s, the Sinhalese majority took control and governed the recent independent nation. It is to be recognised that this ethnic dispute arose from the British showing supposed favouritism by importing and employing Tamils for agricultural jobs. This preferential treatment was seen by the Sinhalese people as discrimination. Consequently when they gained control the Tamil people missed out on official jobs and university admission (www.cfr.org). This was a drastic reversal of discrimination and undoubtedly caused great oppression and this bigotry still continues in some areas. Although there was minor conflict in ancient times between the Buddhist Sinhalese and the Hindu Tamil people regarding who arrived on the island first, the emergence and radicalisation of Sinhalese and Tamil nationalist politics came as a result of the injustice caused by the British (S.Hassan, 2009). The Sinhalese government failed to pay attention to the hopes and aspirations of the Tamil people. The measures that were made to equalise the nation fuelled large scale anti- Tamil feeling. The Liberation Tigers was formed in the 1980’s which fought for the common Tamil desire for a separate nation state to call their own. They assumed the right to have their own, self governing nation on the island of Sri Lanka on the bases that the Sinhalese did not treat them with equality. A marginalised perspective from Mangala Samaraveera, the former foreign minister claims that the Government started registering all Tamils at Colombo on the grounds that they were security threats. He expressed that they were basically naming all Tamils as potential terrorists (www.greenleft.org.au). However many are critical of this sympathetic approach as the Sri Lankan Government is simply protecting Sri Lanka and the countries worldwide. Peter Chalk of Rand Corporation has sufficiently argued “The LTTE threatens not only the domestic stability of Sri Lanka but also the security of the international system as a whole” (www.lankaweb.com). Activities used by Tamil Terrorists such as movement of refugee, arms transfers and drug trafficking have repeatedly demonstrated potential to internationally cause great disruption during the post-war period and is therefore supporting this claim. This Needless to say, the actual discourse on the present conflict in Sri Lanka is more complex and dynamic that what can ever be truly understood though it is clear the people have faced intense inequity. As unjust as it may appear to some Tamil sympathisers, were these grounds of discrimination enough to start such a catastrophic Civil War?
The Sri Lankan Civil War was the result of ethnic conflict between the Sinhalese and the Tamil people and such violent events caused by the Tamil Tigers were demoralizing. The Tamil Tigers initiated a full scale guerrilla war against the Sri Lankan Army by the Tamils secessionist campaign. By the end of the century over seventy thousand civilians were killed. There have been many efforts by the Sinhalese to resolve this conflict yet the Tamils ignored the several cease-fires. In April 2006 it was the Tamil Tigers who withdrew from the negotiations. They went on to invent the suicide belt, pioneered the use of women in suicide attacks and assassinated official figures. The Tamils have staged two thirds of all the worlds suicide bombing which were driven by ethno-nationalism. (S.Hasson, 2009).The assassinations caused by the terrorists were simply daunting, respected figures were murdered such as former India Prime Minister Ghandi, Sri Lankan President Premadassa, many foreign ministers and members of parliament. The most extreme terrorist groups around the world such as Al-Qaida have adapted these murderous methods and notorious suicide attacks. Over fifteen thousand armed combats have broken out and Buddhist shrines have been destroyed. These are just a few atrocities caused by the Tamils in the civil war. Dharmapala, a Buddhist thinker expressed a definitive opinion in his works that the Tamil people have vandalised Sri Lanka, destroyed ancient temples and have nearly annihilated the historic race (K. Stoke 1998). Globally this approach is taken and a press release in 2009 stated, “Children returning from school were confronted by LTTE recruiters in a white van with tinted glasses parked nearby. Individual children were cornered by groups of recruiters. Expressions of reluctance by the children were met by the recruiters with severe abuse.” (www.dailynews.com). Therefore not only are the Tamils terrorising the Sinhalese the extremism extends to their own youth. The Sri Lankan civil war was initiated by the Tamils and spread immense devastation nationally with their terrorism.
The Tamil people did not win this war nor did the hatred that came out of their guns earn them the right to a separate nation-state. The outcome of the war left not only the Tamil people but the whole of Sri Lanka confounded as the Tamil Tigers tactics were unjustifiable and ineffective. The Sri Lanka Civil War came to a bitter end in 2009 and the terroristic tactics employed by LTTE were again not justified and unarguably caused more harm. The war did not eradicate discrimination as they had hoped, instead nationally and internationally the Tamil people were perceived as terrorists resulting in further discrimination. They employed child soldiers and forced their people to fight for something evidently, unachievable. It must be stressed that this war raged for twenty five years and the effects still persists. They have violated the human rights of Sri Lankans and their own people by causing conflict and safety zones. At the end of the war, Tamil official Pathmanathan admitted, “It is our people who are dying now from bombs, shells, illness and hunger. We cannot permit any more harm to befall them…We have decided to silence our guns” (www.guardian.co.uk). It is clear to see that the Tamil people are suffering even more so as a result of the civil war although the former Foreign minister contradicts this notion as he believed the threat of the LTTE returning has not yet disappeared as the strong Tamil ideologies are still present in Sri Lankan society. I am absolutely convinced that he outcome of the Civil War is a clear reminder that the methods of Tamil Terrorist’s were unjustifiable and unsuccessful in countless ways.
The next step we are faced with is achieving peace within our country. I believe it is of the upmost importance to re-build our country so it is known for its ability to surface from horrendous circumstances. Norwegian Minister for International Development expressed in 2009 that Sri Lanka has won the battle but has not won peace (www.abc.net.au). We owe it to our country to now find this peace with the help of the United Nations. Sri Lankan president shows the UN’s lack of assistance when he expressed, ” Although the UN system has set up mechanisms to deal with many of these problems, the capacity of the united nations to address these challenges effectively has been brought into question”(www.abc.net.au). The newly elected government stresses this as it is his obligation to protect his people Tamil or Sinhalese though the support of the United Nations is necessary. It is imperative that the United Nations appoints a respected figure to mediate negotiations. To achieve peace and non-violent means for expressing Tamil wishes, the abandonment of the Tamils militaristic approach is vital furthermore the Sri Lankan Government should adopt a strategy that favours political accommodation. There needs to be acknowledgment of grievances on both sides in order to start negotiations. The political party, the Tamil National Alliance need to be supported my all Tamils to achieve greater autonomy for Tamil’s as a step to one day becoming politically viable enough to develop a separate nation-state. Finally LTTE and the Government need to address the human rights violations that occurred during this civil war and begin to re-establish communities. Peace in Sri Lanka undoubtedly needs to be achieved. The loss of life and bloodshed caused was again inexcusable and therefore peace and amends need to be made of Tamil terrorist acts.
The Tamil people are without a doubt terrorists and have continued to cause conflict in Sri Lanka. It is clear the despite the discrimination placed upon the Tamils in the past the Tamil Tigers methods were not justified. It is apparent that the United Nations are desperately needed to persuade the Tamil people to negotiate politically their aims for greater autonomy. These attacks of hatred, suicide bombings assassinations and all the innocent lives the liberation Tigers have taken are unwarrantable. The departure of the British left the Tamils vulnerable and initiated an instable nation full of ethnic conflict. In spite of this, their methods were violent and the twenty five year Civil War can never be erased. Military spokesman expressed, “They fought for an Eelam that they could never win. It was only a waste of lives. They have caused massive death and destruction over the years.” (www.abc.net.au). So I plead, to the members of the United Nations we must join together and dedicate our effort to preventing terrorism for the greater benefit of Sri Lanka and the Globe.