Ethnic Fractionation as a New Political Paradigm.

R Chandrasoma.

We are reminded endlessly by our political leadership that the way forward in ameliorative politics depends critically upon a devolution of administrative authority and a concomitent empowerment of the minority populations living in Sri Lanka.

There is no need to remind readers that a major - indeed, a fatefully irreversible - step in this direction has been undertaken with the signing of the so-called 'Memorandum of Understanding' by the RaWick regime one the one hand and the tyrant Prabhakaran on the other.

Developments in the North and East follwing the implementation - under the aegis of foreign meddlers - of the terms of this understanding constitute a foil for the assessment of the worth of of this landmark agreement with our erstwhile foe.

What was the promise?
Was it not a restoration of a semblance of self-governance to a people that shouted loudly for it?
Was it not the dismemberment of a tightly-controlled authoritarianism that seemed to be hugely at odds with the wishes of the ordinary people of the area?
Was it not a clamour for the removal of military jack-boots from a region that longed desperately for a return to peace and normalcy?
Has any of this happened in the North and East?

We have the very antithesis of what was promised. A reluctant militarization in response to a determined challenge to the authority of the State is being replaced by the fiat of outfit that glories in its military power and has taken all steps to replace provincial satraps by field commanders sporting belted holsters for quick-fire weapons. By a queer turn of logic, the vociferous opposition to the presence of the Army in the North and East has miraculously transformed into an adulatory and shameful acceptance of renowned killers as the new gubernatorial class.

Free and fair elections are light years away and a cowed population is painfully coming to terms with a dispensation that regards 'devolution' and 'people-power' as no more than useful catch-words in a propaganda war waged against the lawful State.

It is not our intention to pass moral judgement on the cruelly deceived people of the North and East. What is of direct concern to us is the despicable trickery of a leadership that is fully cognizant of these unfortunate developments, yet chooses to tell the world - and its own gullible citizenry - that a magificent experiment in the devolution of power is under way, thanks to their political foresight and magnanimity.

They know that this is arrant rubbish - that a murderous rebel has seized territory and is in the process of enslaving a people with no avenue of democratic redress left open. In the fairy-tales told to the foreigners, they (i.e. the betrayers currently holding office) are misty-eyed about the 'injustice' done to the Tamils by the majority Sinhalayas but nary a word about the gun-toting tyrant whose 'injustice' to his own people cries out to high heaven.

Friends, let us get to the main point of this article. What RaWick and his friends are doing with great skill and craft is not the noble buisness of empowering minorities and extending the benefits of democratic governance to the furthest corners of our Island.

Their breast-beating on these issues is plain hot air that facilitates mass-deception. Their real task is that of a reworking of constitutional arrangements in our pitiful Island that will lead to the speedy accomplishment of a state of affairs that is best described as 'ethnic fractionation'.

The word 'fractionation' is a technical term that is borrowed from the science of chemistry. Given a mixture of substances, there are well-established experimental procedures whereby the pure constituents are successively extracted leaving behind a nondescript mixture of little value that is called 'gunk' in American English. It is the unmanageable leftover.

What is ethnic fractionation? As in the science of mixtures, it is the stepwise sequestration of 'pure groups' at the expense of an unmanageable residum.

Well, readers, the process is going on before your very eyes. Consider the people of our fair nation as a 'mixture' ripe for fractionation. Do we nor see the Pure Tamil State of the North and East (a.k.a. 'Eelam) being drawn out of the mixture?

This is the first fraction that is 'extracted'. Are we to suppose that this will be the last? The Muslims are at the cutting edge of political militancy in the world and the establishment of Eelam will be the signal for round two of the process of ethnic fractionation - the instauration of a pure Islamic enclave in the East.

This will be quickly followed by disturbances in historic montane zone of Sri Lanka and the clamour for a 'Eelam in the Mountains' This thrd round of ethnic fractionation will see a a conering of the Sinhala people in sadly diminished 'hold-all' for those not removed in the process of ethnic purification.

It is truly the 'gunk state' with the supposed 'majoritarians' battling it out with others who refuse to move into the splendid territories cirved out for their exclusive use. Futurology is not an exact science, but a vision of the Catholics declaring the region around 'Little Rome' a separate state cannot be dismissed as ridiculous.

The saga of the Archbishop and the Power Station is a pointer in this direction

Let us look at the residual 'gunk state'. With its sovereign power dramatically curtailed, the seas around it teeming with menacing craft of the All-Powerful Sea Tigers and erstwhile foreign friends berating it for its incompetance, there is little that the Sinhalayas can do except to sulk and recall their past glory.

The language and religion that survived for over two thousand years will fall easy prey to the machinations of the freshly-invigorated proslytizer and its economy will mesh in anonymously with a global system that views it as as a mere exploitable bagatelle.

There are smart men in the advisory entourage that surrounds RaWick. The scenario of ethnic fractionation that we have described cannot have escaped their attention - nor can they be so publind as to miss the dire consequences of an unfolding of events of the kind envisaged.

Let us suppose that it is a 'worst-case scenario' that ebullient politicians pay scant attention to - surely it is the busness of the 'brains trust' to point out the fateful consequences of miscalculation. There is not a shred of evidence that the advisors - foreign or local - have given a thought to the misfortunes of the Sinhalayas.

On the contrary, the evidence we have is suggestive of what might be described as a conspiracy against the Sinhalayas- a campaign massively backed by foreign powers to make 'Sinhala' and 'Sri Lanka' no longer coterminous in symbol and nationhood. Our abiding tragedy is that the Sinhalayas themselves are in the forefront of the moves to push them into cultural oblivion.



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