The moderate Tamil expatriates are moving forward with concrete plans to engage the Sri Lankan government in building bridges of reconciliation and reconstruction. They have already posted a representative in Colombo to coordinate activities.
Dr. Noel Nadesan, a leading activist, told Daily Mirror that Chelliah Yoganathan (aka Manoranjan), who was a former director of Rupavahini, had left Canada to work in Sri Lanka. He was expected to work with the Ministry of Justice in rehabilitating LTTE cadres now in the custody of the government. Mrs. Rajes Balasubramaniam, Yogananthan and other moderate Tamil activists will be meeting with the President today.
These groups of Tamils work jointly to deliver essentials and medicine needed by fellow citizens living in IDP camps in the north. In London Tamil expatriates have established “Little Aid” headed by Tarrin Constantine. Their European colleagues too have helped him in raising funds and supplying goods. In Melbourne Tamil expatriates are working jointly with the Sinhalese organization in sending medicine to the Chettikulam Hospital which requested medical supplies worth nearly $8.000.00.
In London this team engages visiting Ministers and officials to explore ways and means of bringing the two communities together, especially by providing aid. Regular meetings are held to explain to the Tamil expatriates of the new developments and the potential for reconciliation and reconstruction I the country.
This expatriate team operates on the principle that the time is ripe to ask the Sri Lankan government to start the process of reconciliation and reconstruction. Two members of this team, Mrs. Rajeswari Balasubramaniam and Dr. Nadesan, visited Tamil Nadu in late July to link up with Tamil Nadu politicians who were concerned about the situation of the IDPs in Sri Lanka.
They met Ms. Kanimoli, MP for Lok Sabha and daughter of Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi, to explain the prevailing conditions in Sri Lanka and to dispel some of the misinformation that is distorting the realities of inter-ethnic relations between the Sinhalese and Tamils. According to Dr. Nadesan, Ms. Kanmoli had a better understanding of the situation in Sri Lanka. But among other sections, like the Tamil Nadu journalists and women’s groups, the impression was that Sri Lankan Tamils could not even walk the streets of Colombo.
Dr. Nadesan emphasized that the recent meeting in Canberra with Des Browne should open the eyes of the Tamil Diaspora that there is no future in going back to the past, which has ended in Nanthi Kadal. Tamil leaders of the future should avoid harking back to the past because the Tamil people have suffered enough because of the failed policies of Tamil leadership. The Tamil activists running anti-Sri Lankan campaigns to cut aid are hurting the Tamil people who are struggling to eat a square meal. What the Tamil people need now are more welfare facilities to regain their lost lives.
“What the Tamils need now is less politics and more economics. Everyone can get back to politics once our people find their feet. Until then we Tamil abroad must take a realistic view and serve our people, because they have suffered enough. We expats have contributed to their suffering by financing a lost war. Is our duty to finance another war or to lift our people from the terrible mess which we created by sending millions to the LTTE to help them start a war?’ he asked.