A Reply to Mr. Das Samuel and Mr. Makenthiran

By Rajiv

Mr. Das Samuel joins Mr. Makenthiran in animosity and ill will. It is sad to see grown men so filled with hatred of another people, so ready to attack and vilify people different to themselves.

Even in Nazi Germany there were many ordinary Germans who could not see the horrible nature of the Nazis, and who hailed and worshipped them as heros. Unfortunately, a similar situation can be be found among the Sri Lankan Tamil community today with resepect to the LTTE, and Mr. Samuel and Mr. Makenthiran are a part of that crowd. This is not at all surprising however, considering that disapora Tamil communities are highly insulated, and rarely mix with other Sri Lankans. Mr Das Samuel and Mr. Makenthiran both fail to see that it not the Sinhalese, the Muslims, the Burghers, the Bohras or whomever else that has caused most harm to the Tamil community over the years. Instead, it is the LTTE - the self-styled "liberators" of the Tamil people - that has torn the community to bits, that is trampling on the rights of the people they are supposed to be fighting for. Each week we hear of more Tamils being brutally killed in Sri Lanka - not by anyone else but fellow Tamils themselves. Each month we hear of more Tamil on Tamil violence among the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora in Britain and Canada. And it makes us wonder - who really is destroying whom? It is indeed something to ponder.

Blinded by the hate of the Sinhalese people in general, and brainwashed by an irrational hatred of Buddhist Sinhalese, both Mr Das Samuel and Mr. Makenthiran reveal to Sri Lankans the type of mentality that prevails among many hardline, chauvinist and racist members of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora. Many of us can see that the "Tamil nationalist movement" (if it can be called that at all) seems to held together by a blind but powerful hatred of all non-Tamils, especially of the Sinhalese. Once the ceasfire agreement was signed, the LTTE as well as other Tamil fundamentalists were unable to demonise the Sinhalese as the hated, oopresive "other," and consequently infighting broke out between Northern Tamils and the Eastern Tamils and it is continuing to date. So we can see that the "Tamil unity" that the LTTE and its supporters speak about is only held together by a common hatred of all non-Tamils, which includes even the Tamil-Speaking Muslims.

It is amusing to see Mr. Das Samuel bash the Sinhalese Buddhists, and then proceed to pretty much calling them Hindus. The LTTE, as well the Tamil fundamentalists know quite well that there is much in common between the Sinhalese Buddhists and the Tamil Hindus, but rather than letting this be a factor in forming unity, the LTTE propaganda machine pumps out propaganda against Buddhist Sinhalese - full of bile, acid, and hatred, and Mr. Das Samuel and Mr. Makenthiran it seems, are only too happy to gobble up that viciousness and spew it out when they see fit, in order to harm and cut their Sinhalese enemies. Sri Lankans must remember here that it was the previous Hindu Affairs Minister the Hon. Thiagarajah Maheswaran that publicly claimed that over 7000 Hindus had been converted by various Christian evangelist groups operating in Sri Lanka, and that these evangelist groups were abusing the poverty and destitution of many of the Tamil refugees and internally displaced to carry out their conversion activities. So this is certainly not a matter which is of concern only to Buddhist Sinhalese as Mr Das Samuel tries to make it out; it is affecting the Tamil Hindus as well. As one Tamil Hindu journalist from Batticoloa who was also concerned about unethical conversions said, it is just that the Tamil Hindus have many other problems to deal with besides Christian evangelism. Mr. Das Samuel however, would rather use this as an issue to bash the Buddhists (it is the Tamil nationalist line after all to hate everything non-Tamil). And it is not surprising either to see him descend to the puerile "my religion is better than yours" argument. Personally I would be very happy to see Hinduism continue to exist for a long long time.

In retrospect, Mr Das Samuel and Mr. Makenthiran have done all Sri Lankans a favour by giving us a taste of the kind of attitude the Tamil fundamentalists and the LTTE would have towards all non-Tamils in an LTTE controlled separate state or ISGA. The hatred in their posts reminds us that the flames of fundamentalism and racism are burning brightly among sections of the Tamil diaspora. As such, it would behove us to be more wary of their activities, even if garbed in silken cloth.



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