Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sri Lanka - Tamil Tigers

Hi Bloggers,

I felt I just needed to make a comment about the defeat of the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.

I lived and worked in Sri Lanka for a year from April 2005 to April 2006 and was able to observe the working of things at close quarters. It's a wonderful island with stunning natural beauty and delightful, friendly, open people. However, it's also a divided society, with the impoverished Tamils living primarily in the north-east of the island. Actually they are descendants of the Tamils in south-east India, a similarly lovely people.

The point is that the Tamils basically have second class status within the island, all the top positions in the government and Civil Service being dominated by the majority Sinhalese. In fact, this policy is reinforced by linguistic discrimination, in that a high level of proficiency in Sinhalese is required. The same applies to higher education. Also, through having inferior educational opportunities, Tamils are also missing out on developing English language skills, which could be a possible avenue of progress for them.

So, although I don't approve of violence and terrorism, I couldn't help feeling sorry at the demise of the Tigers, as basically I was sympathetic to their cause of an independent state. Actually, I was in Sri Lanka when Mahindra, a committed hardliner, was elected and almost all the "thinking" people in Colombo thought it was the wrong choice.

It'll be interesting to see what happens now. Let's hope the next Sinhalese leader will be enlightened enough to try to create a society genuinely based on the principles of fairness and equal opportunities.

I've attached a few pictures just to show you what a beautiful place it is. On my trip I even went right up to Trinco in the north east, a Tamil area. It was shortly after the tsunami actually, and you could still see all the devastation along the beach. Many areas were just simply abandoned.

Anyway, that's all for now. Look forward to some comments.


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