Sri Lankan Tamil Pilgrims Attacked: An Unending Political Saga

Posted on September 10, 2012 in Specials

By Karthik Ganesh:

“An eye for an eye will make the world blind”
Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which, the more man’s nature runs to, the more degradation is suffered by the social fabric. Usually a man who seeks revenge digs two graves: which was the case when a group of 180 odd Sri Lankan pilgrims faced the ire of Tamil outfits and were attacked when they were peacefully making their way to the Poondi Madha Christian shrine near Thanjavur. The mob of Tamil outfits pelted stones and sticks at the buses carrying the pilgrims and blocked the road to stop the convoy and shouted “Sinhalese go back” to make their stand clear.

This quest for revenge undertaken by the Tamil outfit in order to “highlight the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils” was reciprocated with a travel advisory by the Sri Lankan government, instructing them not to travel to Tamil Nadu. The state government had laid the foundation of this issue by taking a hard line anti-Sri Lanka stance and sending back two Sri Lankan football teams who had come down to play a friendly match, cancelling all the football matches involving the Sri Lankan players in the state and suspending the stadium officer who had organized the friendly match at the Nehru Stadium, Chennai.

These political alarums and discussions created in the pursuit of appeasing the Sri Lankan Tamils have degraded the image of Tamil Nadu as a safe destination for tourism. Also, these gimmicks are sowing the seeds of animosity between Sri Lanka and India. The plight of Sri Lankan Tamils is definitely a key issue for the consideration of the state government. But they need to understand that this issue needs to be tackled at a deeper level by entering into a dialogue and holding peaceful negotiations with the Sri Lankan government. The cantankerous behaviour of the state government and the opposition party of creating brouhaha and playing the political blame game has ensured that the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils definitely takes a backseat.

Sri Lankan Tamils need to have equal access to resources in the society and the onus is on the Sri Lankan government to create many avenues for the Tamil people so that the Indian government never comes down knocking on their doors for the welfare of the Sri Lankan Tamils.