by HWB ~ 20 August 2011
“The textbooks encourage children to develop ‘apartheid attitudes’” toward Tamils. Sri Lanka’s future Sinhalese generations must learn “Tolerance” – Respect and Accept!
Extermination of “The Last Surviving Classical Civilization on Earth”
Not only has the Sinhalese-run government of Sri Lanka conducted systematic genocide of Tamils for decades, but they are, and have been, carrying out educational genocide against Tamils by planting and nurturing seeds of apartheid and intolerance in the young impressionable minds of Sinhalese schoolchildren through their educational system. Specifically in the subject of “Social Studies”.
Regi Siriwardene, a well-respected Sinhalese writer, in an analysis of the effects of school textbooks on ethnic relations in Sri Lanka (1984): “Millions of school children are taught, in the name of social studies, through text-books published by the state, the myths of divergent racial origins which will help to divide the Sinhalese and Tamils for more generations to come….”
The Tamils who settled in Sri Lanka around the 2nd century BC, according to archaeological findings, are descendants of the Dravidian language-speaking tribal people of South India. The Sri Lankan Tamils, or Ceylon Tamils, are descendants of the Tamils of the old Jaffna Kingdom. Their history is rich, diverse and invaluable, contributing immensely to the growth and advancement of Sri Lanka over a period of thousands of years. Tamils have been referred to as the last surviving classical civilization on earth.
“Quality of Life” for Tamils, Immorally Unjustifiably Stigmatized “TERRORISTS”
The international community may ignore facts and turn the other cheek, but facts do not lie, and they do not go away without intervention. The fact is that there are still hundreds of thousands of Tamils living in IDP (Internally Displaced People) camps or with host families; because they have nowhere to go, nor do they have the means to support and feed themselves and their families. Their homes have either been brutally and illegally confiscated by the Sri Lankan government, or their homes were destroyed during the war. The government is not making any effort, much less do they care, to help Tamils who survived the merciless civil war to make a fresh start.
According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (iDMC), as of 01 July 2011, over two years since the war ended in May 2009, almost 210,000 “new” IDPs have returned to camps, and among the more than 157,000 “old” IDP returnees are people displaced from High Security Zones (HSZ), including the Walikamam North HSZ in Jaffna, where the return process began in May. The government claims that IDPs, i.e. Tamils, would be able to return to their homes, provided they have one, by the end of 2011. This remains to be seen, since the SL government has been ruthlessly robbing Tamils of their lands and their homes.
Sri Lanka’s civil war, which officially began on July 23, 1983 and ended on May 18, 2009, lasting 26-years, may be “officially” over as far as that there are no longer aerial attacks and bombings, though heavy military presence via armed-to-the-teeth Sinhalese soldiers and constant various checkpoints are extremely prominent to this day throughout the country. Disappearances and murders of Tamils and journalists advocating Human Rights are still rampant.
TamilNet’s article from 13 January 2011 bluntly reported that “an esoteric team of military intelligence led by Sri Lanka’s Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is directly involved in the killings and abductions in the North”. Needless to say, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s brother, signifying the Sri Lankan government is not a transparent democracy, controlled and ruled by the immediate family of and with the “Great King, Mahinda Rajapaksa”, Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese iron fist of tyranny.
Referring to these points is essential in the sense that they are not only ambiguously volatile, but they ascertain that the quality of life has far from improved for Tamils since the war ended, and their hopes and aspirations for equality and freedom in their own country are non-existent. Tamils continue to live in trepidation and hopelessness.
Tamils, Born “Terrorists” by Default
Whether openly suggestive or cunningly subtle, the Sri Lankan government infers all Tamils as ‘guilty by association’ to the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), as supporters or ‘terrorists’, for being Tamil.
SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa has stated: “The elder generation is entrusted with the responsibility of creating a younger generation that will *NOT BETRAY* the country at any cost.”
UPDATE, 24 August 2011: PLEASE NOTE! ~ Sometime between 20 Aug 2011 and 24 Aug 2011, someone REVISED Rajapaksa’s words above to the following:
“President Rajapaksa said the elder generation is entrusted with the responsibility of creating a younger generation that will *LOVE* the country at any cost.”
Conclusive to the state of affairs in Sri Lanka, one must presume that by “the elder generation”, Mr. Rajapaksa clearly implies the Sinhalese peoples.
Given the president’s remark, there can be no doubt that the indigenous Tamil peoples have not only been forsaken by the international community, but they are discarded and abandoned by their own government, operated on apartheid policy.
Of course, Rajapaksa endorses education, as any president worth his salt should…for Sinhalese children:
Mahinda Rajapaksa – Education for Children (Video: 39 sec)
Mahinda Rajapaksa for children (Video: 2 min 59 sec)
Simple: “Education ~ The Building Block for Our Children’s Future”
“Why education matters for global security”, by Irina Bokova (Director General, UNESCO), 01 March 2011:
“Education must rise on the agenda of peace building. We know the wrong type of education can fuel conflict. The use of education systems to foster hatred has contributed to the underlying causes of conflicts, from Rwanda to Sri Lanka, but also in Guatemala and Sudan.”
Sri Lanka has been a member state of the United Nations since 14 December 1955:
“Protocol, relating to the entry into force of an agreement bringing the UNESCO into official relationship with the United Nations which was approved by the General Assembly, was signed February 3, 1947.”
The official Constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization of 16 November 1945 implicitly declares the following:
“The Governments of the States parties to this Constitution on behalf of their peoples declare
that since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed;
that ignorance of each other’s ways and lives has been a common cause, throughout the history of mankind, of that suspicion and mistrust between the peoples of the world through which their differences have all too often broken into war;
that the great and terrible war which has now ended was a war made possible by the denial of the democratic principles of the dignity, equality and mutual respect of men, and by the propagation, in their place, through ignorance and prejudice, of the doctrine of the inequality of men and races;
that the wide diffusion of culture, and the education of humanity for justice and liberty and peace are indispensable to the dignity of man and constitute a sacred duty which all the nations must fulfill in a spirit of mutual assistance and concern;
that a peace based exclusively upon the political and economic arrangements of governments would not be a peace which could secure the unanimous, lasting and sincere support of the peoples of the world, and that the peace must therefore be founded, if it is not to fail, upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind.
For these reasons, the States parties to this Constitution, believing in full and equal opportunities for education for all, in the unrestricted pursuit of objective truth, and in the free exchange of ideas and knowledge, are agreed and determined to develop and to increase the means of communication between their peoples and to employ these means for the purposes of mutual understanding and a truer and more perfect knowledge of each other’s lives;
In consequence whereof they do hereby create the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation for the purpose of advancing, through the educational and scientific and cultural relations of the peoples of the world, the objectives of international peace and of the common welfare of mankind for which the United Nations Organisation was established and which its Charter proclaims.”
Human Rights Activists fight for the voiceless and discarded. They are ONE VOICE for freedom, justice, equality and peace. What they accomplish today in the name of Humanity and Human Rights for All must not only be taught to our children, but it must be protected, appreciated and respected for all future generations.
Discrimination and intolerance based on history, color, culture, religion and traditions are never requisites of and for Human Rights and Democracy.
“We cannot choose our families or our ethnicity, but we have absolute power of whom we choose to be.” ~ H.W.