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Democracy in Sri Lanka: new lessons added old ones

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 27 January 2010 15:33 No Comment]

Mahinda Rajapaksa gains a victory of big margin in the presidential elections of Sri Lanka and this has not surprised Tamil nationalist circles. The voters of Sinhala Nation have very clearly endorsed a regime accused of genocide and war crimes against Tamils. Democracy insisting the need to recognise two Nation States in the island is an old lesson. But the new lesson is to the International Community, especially to the West that is slipping for the third time within one year, first in stopping the war, then in human rights action in the UN and now in bringing out a ‘democratic’ regime change. There is also a lesson to revisionist Tamil polity and media that wasted the crucial time of Tamils by harping on regime change and not concentrating on the own political organisation of Tamil nationalism.

The ‘democratic’ verdict in Sri Lanka very clearly goes against the paradigm ‘post-war national reconciliation’ the International Community attempts to impose on the peoples of the island.

As the Sinhala Nation mandated Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Tamil Nation either boycotted or voted for regime change show a sharp difference of opinion in what is meant by reconciliation.

If reconciliation is the point, it has to be approached as reconciliation of two Nation States in the island is the message of the elections.

The results of the elections open the eyes of many among Tamils, who were thinking that moderate politics means hoping on a ‘post-conflict’ regime change supported by the Sinhala Nation.

The leading political faction representing the Tamils took a clear decision on this. Even though sections of Tamils have favourably responded to it, the majority seems to have rejected it by spontaneously boycotting the elections. This is clearly visible in the North. The mixed nature of demography and new electoral arrangements make it difficult to read it in the East, but poll centre pattern when released will show it.

However, the voting pattern in the entire North and East sends an obvious message to Tamil paramilitary outfits collaborating Mahinda Rajapaksa and to their few supporters in the diaspora that they are not acceptable to Tamils.

Tamil circles in the diaspora expect new vigour to be shown in the political organisation of Tamil nationalism, both in the diaspora and in the island.

Colombo-centric system will enter into a new crisis with a bitter division of its own capitalism is the analysis coming from media circles in Colombo.

The election results places India in a more precarious position in its geopolitical competition, especially with China.

As far as the West is concerned, which has lost opportunities of military intervention, diplomatic intervention, human rights intervention and now change-of-regime intervention – all because of twisting the national question of Tamils – the failures in the southern node of South Asia are sure to reflect on its credibility in the northern node too, commented a Colombo-based political analyst.

The level of democracy in the island was best illustrated by the defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka in an interview during the early hours of Wednesday, when he called for the intervention of ‘outside governments’ to prevent dictatorship and to protect democracy in the island.

[Full Coverage]

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