A New Beginning for USA - A New Hope for Tamils?
The inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the U.S.A together with Kamala Harris as the first Black and Asian Tamil American and the first female Vice President is delightful. It came as a breath of fresh air amidst the turbulent times of the parting administration. It's a victory for international tolerance and for American moral leadership in the world.
The Tamil Writers Guild in the UK takes pleasure in joining the congratulatory messages that are pouring in from all over the world, including the Vatican.
The U.S has been a longstanding friend and benefactor of Sri Lanka until their new friends from China started showering them with soft loans to establish a foothold in Sri Lanka and in the Indian Ocean. In Sri Lanka, there have been strong allegations of human rights violations as in China, as well as disappearances of people. Homes, schools, hospitals, churches, and the infrastructure of the Tamil homeland have been destroyed and around 80,000 Tamil civilians were killed in a massacre during the last part of civil war in May 2009,from which the world cynically turned away its eyes.
As a race, Tamils have contributed so much to the world, from the Indus Valley civilisation to the Chola Empire, that spanned South East India to Angkor Wat of Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and South China, but they have now become an endangered species facing extinction at the hands of a ruthless regime that wants the Tamils to be expelled from Sri Lanka. The British handed over the Tamil Kingdom and sovereignty that existed in the North East of Sri Lanka for over 2000 years to the majority Sinhalese, and now they want the entire island for themselves.
The U.S. satellite images shook the world, following the aftermath of the May 2009 bombing, and the subsequent involvement by U.S. International lawyers serves as a testimony for the carnage and devastation.
It is apparent that if there is no intervention by a powerful institution, the Tamils will inevitably become extinct as a race in Sri Lanka.
During the Obama administration, there was only rhetoric about the conflict in Sri Lanka. Although the mind was willing the action was weak. The former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Sri Lanka recently but did not even make a symbolic reference to reconciliation, let alone justice, accountability, and a political solution for the divided country.
This is a golden opportunity for the U.S.A, a beacon of democracy, to use its influence to bring peace and harmony to the island of Sri Lanka. The resettlement of displaced people and a count of the missing people, together with the release of the military occupied lands, are still to be done. What is needed is a major and concerted international intervention to bring about peace between the Sinhalese and Tamils, who have not enjoyed peaceful co-existence since their independence in 1948.
It is imperative for the world to take stock of what is happening in the country, and then decide on a course of action. The country is suffering from financial difficulties resulting from the greed and political dealings of the ruling dynasties.
We wish the President Joe Biden and the Vice President Kamala Harris our best wishes. May their efforts bring peace and harmony to Sri Lanka.
Tamil Writers Guild Editorial Board