Monday, April 27, 2009

Elections and the Eelam

These days, I get put off when I watch the election campaign speeches by the leaders of political parties in Tamil Nadu. Every leader has a statement to make about Sri Lanka and The Eelam. Someone says "Velupillai Prabhakaran is my good friend", someone else claims If she is voted to power she "will not rest until Tamil Eelam is formed". Someone makes a statement that "Tamil Nadu would witness a bloodbath even if slightest harm befell Prabakaran". He was the same person who once said "If the need arises, I will be the first man to take up arms in support of Sri Lankan Tamils. I will gather youths all over the country for this purpose." and was put behind bars under the POTA act for "waging a seditious war against the state." But this time Elections are around. The government cannot afford to do that. Rather everybody is commenting on the issue.

Every election rally if full of promises and solutions to the Eelam issue. Are there not much bigger issues at home which need urgent attention?

I recently read a post by Sanjiva, a Sri lankan himself, where he says the blame for present situation needs to be shared by India, US, UK, Australia, Canada and others.
An editorial in Sri Lankan Sunday Times says ; "Take the typical case of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. This week, giving testimony at a Congressional hearing, she asked that Pakistan take more action against (Islamic) extremists and asked Sri Lanka to 'pause' action against (Tamil) extremists. To cap it, she asked Pakistan to adopt a 'paradigm shift' and called for a 'change in mind-set'. Look who's talking."

I am not saying that you ignore the sufferings of the people in North Sri Lanka. Yes, big problems exist there.
But these should not be used as poll gimmicks. The parties should not take undue advantage of such a situation to divert attention of voters from much more important issues which affect them directly on a day-to-day basis.

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