I was perturbed when I just saw some photos of the UK High Commissioner visiting houses of people resettled in the North East, using some form of UK aid or assistance.
Whenever anyone of note arrives in Sri Lanka, they make a bee line to Jaffna, as if it is an essential part of their pilgrimage, as if to check on the people living there, and if matters have settled, and people are living NORMALLY!
Is all this due to the PUSH factor from their Country, where citizens of Sri Lankan Tamil origin, have placed political pressure on them to go there for themselves and see the real situation? or is it merely an attempt to gain some validity to their visit by going to these areas that have not seen any violence in 7 years? Frankly the people are calmer there than in Orlando FL, today, and we are certainly not sending an emissary to USA to look into their welfare.
I find all this very patronizing on the part of the visitor, or the Ambassador, and if I can’t go there, to see for myself and ask them, my fellow countrymen, can I help you with something you don’t have, why should I permit these do gooders from across many ponds to do so? Why is the Govt. permitting this?
The ONE NATION INDIVISIBLE
In principle we must stop these foreign looky loos, making this pilgrimage, and instead empower, and allow our own people who work in social service, to go and look into their welfare, and use the available state funding to help them with their livelihood development. This foreign input is ONLY in a divided Country. We are UNITED, as one aren’t we?
We have a severe employment shortage, especially a skills shortage. There are people stuck in tracts of land, in the North and East with little means of sustenance, why do we keep these refugees there? Have we lost our priorities? Should we not move them elsewhere, provide them with housing and employment, where they can be gainfully employed, and add to the economic growth of Sri Lanka, rather than be a burden on the state dragging their limited resources to provide welfare?
I can’t help feeling that this is a conspiracy of the West, to permanently interfere in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka. We are stupid enough to permit this, whilst India forbids it without flinching. They don’t even accept aid from anyone in case of emergencies as they believe they can cope with all eventualities.
We are talking a UNIFIED Country, we should NOT engage in resettlement of people just to justify racial balances. People should be able to MOVE FREELY and live anywhere of their choice in such a country, just as Sinhala people must be allowed to go and buy property in Jaffna if they so wish, and carry on a business.
In my opinion, the current political climate is rigid, and not in keeping with the times, where people are mobile, and if 80% of Jaffna Tamils from the Peninsula are now overseas, and only resettled Tamils in the Peninsula, I have every right to settle in Jaffna as the other man, if the Diaspora choose not to return!
If Sri Lanka truly believes that we have turned the corner, and are an upwardly mobile, country with new aspirations and horizons, the politicians, especially in the North and East MUST also take that step, and not enslave their electorate to outdated themes of land, province, homelands as such.
Now the majority of the Tamil speaking people speak Sinhala also. Only a minority who live in the Northern and Eastern areas don’t. It is extremely unfair of the politicians to leave them as hostages to their own personal agendas, when all they want is a better life for themselves and their children, and we can give them, that, but possibly not where they are current living, due to lack of opportunities.
If people from the rural Sinhala villages can move to the Western Province in search of work, so can those from rural Tamil villages. They must be given the option of choosing their fate, not for others, and even the British in this instance to tie them up in the North, by building houses.
This also goes to my contention that this project to build 65,000 houses is ALSO misplaced, as we will continue, to enslave people, by building a home, in an area with little future, instead of moving them where there is, and building them their home in a different location.
Development and growth is organic. People move to where there is a job, a livelihood, an office, a factory. It is usually NOT the other way round. A private concern may bring the factory, to where the people are if that is the only way they can grow. However it is which comes first, it should be the employment opportunity, and then the infrastructure can be built round it. Schools, shops offices, factories and the Govt. machinery!
Let us NOT treat women headed households as a problem, and look at it as a resource that can benefit from policies aimed at development and sustainability.