By Bodhi Dhanapala
According to news reports, “In his letter addressed to the Northern CM, Minister Bathiudeen had stated that the Muslims who lived in Mullaitivu district abandoned their lands due to the terrorist activities carried out by LTTE. The Minister pointed out 780 such families have been identified, and 1000 acres of land in Mullaitivu district are needed for those families and for the new generation that emerged”.
However, if news reports are to be trusted, Mr. Wigneswaran has turned it down?
If the individuals can identify where they lived, and if the fact that they lived there can be established, exactly why should one consult Wigneswaran for settling people in their own lands? Why is there a need to ask for land from Mr. Wigneswaran when the crown owns all land? The provincial councils have not yet been given powers over land allocations. Further more, it has also been alleged that Minister Bathiudeen is at the center of the actions leading to a clearing of 4,000 acres of the Wilpattu reserve for settling displaced Muslims. Did some Chief Minster approve that clearing of a reserved forest sanctuary, and did Mr. Bathiudeen ask?
Mr. Wigneswaran tries to justify his own dubious rights to an “exclusive Tamil homeland” based on racist programs, even twisting history and going to the extent of tamilizing the well-established names of early kings mentioned in the Mahawamsa (but in no Tamil chronicle) into “Anu-rasa-puram kings”. He asserts that Tamils must preserve their “racial purity” by not intermarrying with other “races” like the Sinhalese. He fails to understand that only a thin cultural conditioning separates him from his “low-caste” brothers born from the lower parts of Brahma, or his Sinhala relatives. By rejecting Minister Bathiudeen’s request and not coming forward to resettle the Muslims expelled from Jaffna, Mulative and other locations in the Northern Province, he is tacitly enforcing the ethnic cleansing carried out by the LTTE. And what about the Sinhalese who were expelled by the LTTE from the North? Shouldn’t it be Wigneswaran who should spearhead the rectification of these wrongs, given his sensitivity to “genocide of the Tamils since 1948”?
Perhaps Mr. Wigneswaran should read captain Percival’s book on Ceylon in the early part of the 19th century when Percival spend several years in Jaffna and recorded the life there. According to captain Percival, the majority of the people living in Jaffna were Muslims, then came the Sinhalese and the Malabars in terms of numbers. Mr. Wigneswaran should also consult “A genealogy of the residents of Manipey and related inhabitancies (re-edited by P. Tambimuttu, 1991) to check if his kith and kin had any Muslim or Sinhalese relatives!
Where is the “civil society” spokesmen, the “human rights” people, the “Friday Forum” and others who rise in indignation when the “rights of minorities” are subject to the “tyranny of the majority”?
Is the tyranny of a minority more acceptable? Let those who are writing constitutions note that devolution of power into the hands of individuals with fanatical ideas would be disastrous.