Future of Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus 27/05/2009 03:25:29 B R HARAN
Re-Hinduise identity of Lankan Tamils
“Tamils and Sinhalas are one people. They have the same DNA structure. There is no ethnic difference between them. Sinhala and Tamil have a large vocabulary in common with Sanskrit and Pali, which have evolved from Brahmi script and all those languages have originated from the Indian mainland. Both Buddhism and Hinduism believe in the same fundamentals and Buddhism began as a reform movement resulting in Hinduism absorbing many of those reforms. Hence there is no religious difference between them,” said Dr. Subramanian Swamy in a recent column written after the defeat of the LTTE by the Sri Lankan army.
Dr. Swamy said British imperialist invaders played a significant role in dividing the two communities. Those who follow the history and geo-politics of Sri Lanka will not dispute this. Sri Lanka is only the latest example of the worldwide conquest of the White Christian Church over non-Abrahamic nations and peoples.
The relationship between Sri Lanka and India dates back to Ithihasic times, the era of the Ramayana, the great epic of Bharata Varsha. Even if we consider the specific Tamil-Sinhala connection, it dates back many centuries to the later Sangam period (Sangam Maruviya Kaalam), leading to the famous Buddhist monk and poet “Seethalai Saaththanaar” who authored the magnificent ‘Kaavya’ called “Manimekalai” in Classical Tamil. Then we have seen the Chola conquest of Sri Lanka and the friendship between the Pandyas and the kings of Sri Lanka .
Tamil Kings patronised the establishment and growth of Buddhism in Tamil Nadu, though the ascendance of Shaivism and Vaishnavism led to the exit of Buddhism from the South. In the north, however, the bloody conquest by Islam destroyed Buddhism.
Before the Christian invasion, Hindus and Buddhists lived peacefully in the island and Tamil Hindus made immense contributions in various fields for the progress of the land. Divisions were sown by the colonial regime, and the poisonous Tamil-Sinhala divide remained a legacy after the British left. Independence emboldened the Sinhala Buddhist majority to assert supremacy brutally, and in 1958 the first major conflict with the Tamil Hindu minority occurred, which was repeated in 1977.
By then Tamil militancy had taken shape; Prabhakaran formed the LTTE in 1976. If the divide created by British was a major reason, the vicious assertion of Sinhala supremacy was an added reason for the emergence of Tamil militancy. The White Church , waiting for the right time to strike, gleefully utilized the emergence of Tamil militancy and aided and abetted the LTTE. This prolonged the conflict for more than three decades. The long term objective of the west was to establish a Tamil Christian nation comprising Lanka’s north-east and Tamil Nadu, by using the ‘Sinhala-Tamil’ and ‘Aryan-Dravidian’ divide.
But now, as the LTTE has been vanquished, the onus lies squarely on the Sri Lankan establishment to live up to its commitment of rehabilitating the Tamil community, ensuring freedom, equal rights and opportunities. India , for its part, must rise to the occasion and help Sri Lanka in achieving this objective. The visit of National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon immediately after LTTE’s defeat is a step in the right direction.
In this context, Tamil Nadu has a moral responsibility to play a meaningful role in creating peace and harmony in the island nation. But considering the track record of the Dravidian parties and their intimacy with the Church, one can anticipate only facilitation of the Christian agenda. It is therefore imperative for Hindu organizations such as the RSS, VHP, Hindu Munnani and other religious organisations to embark on a cultural and spiritual mission to Sri Lanka , to instill hope and confidence in the minds of the shattered Tamil Hindu community.
The last official island-wide census was in 1981. The total population could now be around 20 million, with Tamils comprising about 3 million, of which 85% are Hindus. The Hindu Council, the Hindu Women’s Society (Saiva Mangaiyar Kazhagam) and the Sai Samithi, along with some other organizations, are reportedly serving at military camps where civilian Tamils are put up.
With the death of Prabhakaran and other senior LTTE commanders, there could be a lull in hostilities. This is the right time for Hindu organizations from Tamil Nadu/India to get in touch with the Sri Lankan government to help in the rehabilitation of the battered civilian population. As the government has also been exhausted, it would welcome any kind of help.
Reliable sources say the Hindu Council in Vavuniya has done good work in the past six weeks by visiting overcrowded refugee camps, providing food, clothes, soap, medicines, sanitary requirements, etc. They have been organizing prayer groups too. As the incipient infrastructure is already in place, Hindu philanthropy in India could rise to the occasion, adding manpower and finance and help in the rehabilitation of civilian refugees.
Sri Lankan experts feel there is no history of “anti-Sanskrit” or “anti-Brahmin” sentiments in the island; hence this is the opportune moment to establish contact between Hindu religious heads from Tamil Nadu and Buddhist heads from Sri Lanka to strengthen Sanatana Dharma. Organisations like Kanchi Matham, Shaivite Adheenams and Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam could play a great significant role by establishing their service branches with the permission of the Sri Lankan government.
The famous Chidambaram Natarajar Temple is supposed to have lands and properties in the island, which could be used to build temples and service branches. The TTD can think of building a Temple for Bhagwan Venkatachalapathi and conduct spiritual courses. Experts feel the time is ripe to reintroduce “Brahmanic” Tamil ethos in Sri Lanka , to mainstream it, and by precedent influence developments in Tamil Nadu.
In a way, this would re-Hinduize the Tamil identity in north and eastern Sri Lanka and exert a wholesome precedent to rollback the so-called Dravidian juggernaut in Tamil Nadu. ‘Dravidian’ Tamil Nadu would be sandwiched between a resurgent Hindu Karnataka and a Hindu Tamil-Sri Lanka, leading to the re-emergence of Tamil Nadu’s clear Hindu identity. A strong Tamil-Hindu presence in Sri Lanka would go a long way in defending India ’s southern frontier in all respects.
Bringing together Buddhist and Hindu leaders is not a difficult task considering the Christian onslaught which is inimical to both. Just six years ago, in 2003, the island saw a joint effort to bring in legislation against conversion. It was sabotaged then, but the objective could be achieved now. The Hindu Council of Sri Lanka and National Council of Buddhist Clergy have their task cut out in this regard. Although island-based Hindu organizations would try to raise funds from the moderate section of the Lankan Tamil Diaspora, it could never match the World Council of Churches in terms of resources.
Hence, this is the appropriate moment for Hindu organizations in India to immediately send teams of volunteers with as much aid as possible to help the Sri Lankan government rehabilitate the internally displaced Tamil community. We must remember that the West will try to connect with Tamils in the guise of ‘human rights organisations’ and ‘aid merchants,’ and will castigate the Lankan army for ‘war crimes.’ The ‘conversion’ motive behind these NGOs and ‘aid merchants’ is an open secret; they wreaked havoc in coastal Tamil Nadu after the tsunami in 2004.
The Vellore-based Sri Narayani Peedam, headed by a godman who became an ‘instant spiritualist’ at the age of 16 and established the Peedam immediately thereafter with two branches in Canada and one in the US within ten years, and built a massive ‘Golden Temple’ on a sprawling 100 acre plot in a short span of four years, allegedly acting as a ‘front’ for the Dravidian-Christian-LTTE combination, has made a tie-up with the US-based “Direct Relief International” to provide medicines and medical equipments worth Rs.50 crore for the rehabilitation of Sri Lankan Tamils.
Godman Sakthi Amma has claimed that his “devotee” Mr. Matt Maculla, International Programme Officer attached to DRI, volunteered to provide the relief (Ref: The New Indian Express, 23 May 2009
Sakthi Amma announced that his Peedam has already contacted the Sri Lankan government and that he would be sending a team of doctors and other personnel from Sri Narayani Hospital and Research Centre.
It is therefore all the more essential for Hindu organizations from Tamil Nadu to send their sevaks with permission from the Sri Lankan government. The declaration of Rama Sethu as a national heritage monument by the Indian government and the Historical Tourism of Ramayana Sites organised by the Sri Lankan government, if implemented and promoted properly, would mark the death-knell of western forces attempting to renew their nefarious agenda.
Sinhala chauvinism may raise its head!
As almost 85% of Sri Lankan Tamils are Hindus, the re-Hinduisation of their Tamil identity must be taken up on war footing as the Dravidian-Christian combo is in doldrums after the defeat of the LTTE, and will take time to recoup.
The west, particularly the missionaries, NGOs, and the UN which is totally influenced by them, will try to portray the Sri Lankan army as a great ‘human right violator’ and to expose its ‘war crimes.’ In times of calamities and wars, western organizations swarm the affected areas through dubious fronts and indulge in evangelism in the name of relief and rehabilitation works. To thwart such attempts, Hindu religious leaders from India should make immediate contacts with the Buddhist leadership for the benefit of both communities, and facilitate the entry of Hindu organizations for the welfare of Lankan Tamil Hindus, who comprise the maximum number of internally displaced persons.
Addressing his country’s Parliament after the demise of LTTE chief Prabhakaran, President Rajapakse said, “We are a country with a long history where we saw the reign of 182 kings who ruled with pride and honour, for that extended more than 2,500 years. This is a country where kings such as Dutugemunu, Valagamba, Dhatusena and Vijayabahu defeated enemy invasions and ensured our freedom. As much as Mother Lanka fought against invaders such as Datiya, Pitiya, Palayamara, Siva and Elara in the past, we have the experience of having fought the Portuguese, Dutch and British who established empires in the world. As much as the great kings such as Mayadunne, Rajasingha I and Vimaladharmasuriya, it is necessary to also recall the great heroes such as Keppettipola and Puran Appu who fought with such valour against imperialism” (Ref: http://www.srilanka.co.za/news.asp).
President Rajapakse specifically mentioned Buddhist kings (Dutugemunu, Valagamba, Dhatusena and Vijayabahu) who defeated Tamil Kings (Datiya, Pitiya, Palayamara, Siva and Elara). He specifically addressed the Tamil Kings as “invaders.” Even if he had wanted to create a picture of “nationalism,” he need not have mentioned this history as Tamils are part of Sri Lankan nationhood. They are natural citizens of Sri Lanka and must be given equal rights in all spheres of life. Any leader genuinely striving to ensure the freedom and equal rights of the largest minority would not have made such a prejudiced and divisive speech.
Though President Rajapakse has repeatedly promised to address the genuine grievances of the Tamil community, the conditions prevailing in army-run relief camps belie this. As the Lankan army was singularly focusing on defeating the LTTE, lack of focus on relief camps could be forgiven. But now that the conflict has ended, the army has the prime responsibility to improve facilities in camps and treat the tormented Tamils with dignity. Both government and army should welcome the religious and spiritual organizations and relief materials from India and Tamil Nadu and fulfill the commitment given by their President.
The behaviour exhibited by the Sinhalese after the defeat of the LTTE was unruly. Happiness over the defeat of LTTE and the death of Prabhakaran is understandable, but they should not cross limits. There are reports that Sinhalese were excessive in celebration dancing and singing, with crackers and fireworks, especially in Tamils dominated areas. If the President erred in touching history by mentioning the defeat of Tamil Kings at the hands of Sinhala kings and calling them invaders, the government blundered declaring last Wednesday an official holiday to mark the victory.
Neither the government nor the people spared a thought for 300,000 refugees who have gone through a harrowing experience, caught between the army and the LTTE. Sadly, the President’s speech, government’s actions and people’s behaviour only created apprehensions in the minds of the Tamil minority.
However, as a silver lining, a section of Sinhalese has been affectionate and helpful to Tamils. Several organizations from the south have been voluntarily sending food, clothes, etc to the relief camps in the north and many Sinhala doctors and paramedical staff have volunteered to work in the Vavuniya hospital to attend to injured Tamils.
It is the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora that is disgusting. It is well-known that the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora, besides western missionaries, has been a good source of funds for the LTTE; a major section of the diaspora is either Christians or converted. This section willingly funded the LTTE, the other section did so out of compulsion. Last year, LTTE banned Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, including the ‘coconut breaking ceremony,’ and asked the Diaspora to send the funds earmarked for the celebration to the Tigers; but the Hindu Diaspora ignored the LTTE and went ahead with the celebration.
In the aftermath of LTTE’s defeat, the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in Canada , US, UK and other European countries has reacted insensitively. For the last one month, it continuously clamoured to somehow save the Tiger leadership, and cannot digest the defeat of LTTE and death of its chief. Protest demonstrations revealed that a major section of the protesters were youngsters who had not visited Sri Lanka even once. Sri Lankan journalist Lalith Gunaratne, in a column “Can we end this cycle of hatred?” said, “Even friends who never looked at race before are now putting their identity as a Tamil or Sinhala before friendship. Sad this happens in a place 10,000 kms away from where the real conflict is taking place. The irony is that in the old country we are already talking about reconciliation and rebuilding relationships” (Ref: http://www.groundviews.org/2009/05/20/can-we-end-this-cycle-of-hatred/ ).
Notwithstanding the defeat of LTTE, the Canadian Tamil Congress, which heads the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in Canada, openly said it would be the ‘Tigers’ hereafter and would take revenge and stop only after achieving a separate Tamil nation. A few celebrity poets and singers among the Diaspora are also misleading the youth saying the Sri Lankan government has been waging war not against the LTTE, but against the Tamils, and that Tamil nation is the only solution.
Diaspora hardliners are likely to pressure UN and other western nations to try Sri Lankan Armed Forces for ‘war crimes.’ Sri Lanka has reacted strongly, saying UK and US must be tried first for their ‘war crimes’; President Rajapakse said he was “ready to go to the gallows” for defeating the LTTE. Here too, a silver lining is visible, as a considerable section of the Diaspora really wants to return home and start a new life in a peaceful environment. This section is of the firm opinion that armed struggle would lead nowhere; it prefers a political solution with the help of India .
President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, has been conferred with the highest national honour, “Vishawakeerthi Sri Threesinhaladishwara.” The prelates of Malwathu and Asgiri chapters awarded the title to the President at the national ceremony to mark the reunification of the country and honour and invoke blessings on the President and war heroes for liberating the country and nation from terrorism, held at the historic Magul Maduwa of the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy last Saturday.
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Air Chief Marshall Donald Perera, Army Chief Gen. Sarath Fonseka, Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, Air Chief Marshall Roshan Goonetilleke, IGP Jayantha Wickremeratne and Civil Defence Chief Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekere were awarded “Sthuthi Sthroththa Pathra” (Scroll of facilitation) in recognition of their contribution towards uniting the nation. The Maha Sanga had conferred the title “Sri Rohana Jana Ranjana” to Rajapakse when he was a cabinet minister.
Reliable sources say some Buddhist monks have cautioned the President not to make any concessions as “winners do not make concessions” and that the roads in the north (Tamil areas) be renamed after war heroes. If so much hostility is shown, where is the question of a single united nation? In despair, a Lankan expert quoted “verse 201” of “Dhammapada” -“Victory breeds hatred; the defeated live in pain. He is happy who has given up both victory and defeat.” He added, “Naked triumphalism is like salt to a wound.”
This attempt by some Buddhist monks may be based on their great chronicle, Mahavamsa, which is politically significant. The Mahavamsa covers the complete history of religion in Sri Lanka from the time of Gautama Buddha, along with a brief account of Buddhism in India . It starts from the coming of King Vijaya from Kalinga (Orissa) in 543 BCE to the reign of King Mahasena (334-361).
As the Sinhalese majority often use Mahavamsa as proof of their claim that Sri Lanka is a Buddhist nation from historical times, ‘Tamil Nationalists’ contest that most Sinhala Kings are actually Tamils. Hence this book, which is also considered a work of Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism, laid the foundation for civilian conflicts which became worse after the exit of the British (Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahavansa). Indeed, President Rajapakse quoted the historical content of his speech from this book only, which exposes his inner thoughts and chauvinistic mentality.
Hence it becomes all the more imperative for Hindu religious leaders from Tamil Nadu to establish immediate contact with their Buddhist counterparts in Sri Lanka so that future conflicts are avoided and peace and harmony ensured. This connection between Buddhist and Hindu leaders would go a long way in helping Hindu cultural and service organisations to participate in the rehabilitation of displaced Tamil Hindus in the island.
Buddhist-Hindu unity needed to extinguish external forces
India’s new External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna cautioned Sri Lanka to begin addressing the root causes of the island’s ethnic conflict: “Addressing the root causes would include political steps towards the effective devolution of power within the Sri Lankan Constitution so that Sri Lankans of all communities, including the Tamils, can feel at home and lead lives of dignity of their own free will.”
Mr Krishna assured Indian help in rehabilitating Tamil civilians displaced by the war. While this stand by the Indian government cannot be faulted, it remains to be seen how it would deal with the present Sri Lankan government which is perceived to be Sinhala-chauvinistic, pro-China and Pak-friendly.
As the LTTE’s defeat has been a big blow to western forces backing the terrorist organisation with a motive to gain entry into the island nation in the garb of charity and human rights, it might try to recuperate with help from the Sri Lankan Diaspora. They may try to thwart India ’s attempts to improve relations with Colombo , or to influence the political leadership (headed by a powerful westerner) and achieve its objectives through it. Apart from western forces, two more outside forces, Pakistan and China , could also spoil Indian attempts to move close to Sri Lanka .
It is an open secret that military cooperation between Sri Lanka and Pakistan has grown in recent years. Pakistan ’s supply of arms and equipments to Lanka goes back to the 1980. It increased in 2000 when Pakistan supplied Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher System (MBRLS) and other high tech weaponry, including ammunition for artillery, to fight against LTTE’s offensive code-named ‘Operation Ceaseless Waves’ which overran Sri Lanka’s military positions in the north and captured the Elephant Pass Base to enter Jaffna.
During the high-profile visit of President Mahinda Rajapakse to Islamabad in March 2006, Sri Lanka sought heavy military aid and cooperation from Pakistan to eliminate the LTTE. Sri Lankan Army Chief Lt-Gen Fonseka visited Islamabad in May 2008, held detailed talks with his Pakistani counterpart General Kiyani, and finalized a deal worth more than US$200 million for purchase of 22 Al-Khalid tanks, mortar ammunition, grenades and ammunition for artillery and other equipments.
Pakistan reportedly agreed to supply one shipload of wherewithal every ten days to reinforce Sri Lanka ’s fight against the LTTE. In January 2009, both governments agreed to enhance military cooperation in areas of training and sharing of intelligence against terrorism. It was widely reported in the Sri Lankan media that pilots from the Pakistan Air Force took part in Sri Lanka ’s aerial attacks on LTTE’s military bases and that Pak army officers trained the island’s counter-insurgency forces. (Ref: http://www.chowk.com/ilogs/72106/48173).
Pakistan is a country which never hesitates to strengthen its military even at the cost of its economy. It would procure equipments, weapons, arms and ammunition even as citizens reeled in poverty without a square meal a day. It utilizes the undue aid and support given by US and China only with a sense of hostility against India . It is quite natural that it maintains a close relationship with China ; its help to Sri Lanka has also been under Chinese influence.
Sri Lanka ’s relationship with China dates back to the 15th century as evidenced by the travelogues of Chinese travellers Fa-Hien (Faxien) and Hieun Tsang (Xuanzang), who also visited India . It is believed the Sino-Lankan relationship was suspended when the island came under colonial rule. After Independence , Colombo recognized New China in 1950 and the two countries established diplomatic relations and maintained high level contacts.
Chinese government sources say the Sri Lankan Government has always pursued a friendly policy towards China , and rendered strong support for the Taiwan and Tibet questions and human rights issues. The two countries share consensus on many major international issues and enjoy sound cooperation. Sino-Lankan trade relations have been healthy since the fifties when the “Rice for Rubber” agreement was signed in 1952. Sri Lanka continued friendly relations with China despite sanctions imposed by western nations against China . Both countries signed a Joint Communiqué in 1956, Joint Statement in 1957, Agreement on Economic and Technological Cooperation in 1962 and several agreements on economic and technological cooperation between the 1970s and 2000.
Two years ago, when President Rajapakse visited Beijing , he signed an agreement on the ‘Hambantota Project’ by which Chinese would build a container port, a bunkering system, an oil refinery, an airport and other facilities. Chinese are expected to finance more than 85% of the total estimated cost of US $ 1 billion. The project would be completed within 15 years and the first phase is expected to be finished by 2010. While similar projects like Gwadar in Balochistan province of Pakistan, naval and container port facilities in Chittagong, Bangladesh, radar, refit and refuel facilities in many places in and around Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia, help China consolidate its presence surrounding India. The Hambantona project will help in its strategic presence in the Indian Ocean .
(Ref: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/IC13Df01.html - Sudha Ramachandran).
On 1 March 2007 , a gala dinner and a cultural extravaganza were held by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Beijing to celebrate the successful conclusion of the China-Sri Lanka friendship year and the 60th anniversary of the independence of Sri Lanka . The event, named " Sri Lanka - Beyond Your Dreams," drew First Lady of Sri Lanka Shiranthi Rajapaksa, China 's Vice-chairwoman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Gu Xiulian, who was also president of the All-China Women's Federation, and some 600 other guests of both countries. (Ref: http://english.sina.com/china/1/2008/0303/148475.html ).
In another grand reception hosted by the Chinese government in Beijing , Jia Quinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said the two governments and peoples always respected and helped each other nurturing a friendship of generations cultivated by personages from different circles of the two nations. President Rajapakse said the bilateral friendship would remain steadfast despite changes and conflicts in the world and the Chinese people would always stand with Sri Lanka as friends and relatives. He added that Sri Lanka was ready to join hands with China to promote their friendly relations up to a higher level.
(Ref: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200703/01/eng20070301_353253.html ).
Regarding Beijing ’s decision to support the Lankan government in eliminating the LTTE, the Chinese Military News says it helped the island nation earlier in 2008 as well when it sold huge sophisticated weapons to Colombo and gave aid of more than $5 billion. It claims China is the largest donor to Sri Lanka and that the Sri Lankan Air Force is bedecked by the Chinese Jian-7 fighter jets, anti-aircraft guns and JY-11 3D air surveillance radars, which played a major role in getting success against LTTE rebels in recent days. The Chinese Military News confirms China started helping Lankan after Washington stopped sending aid to Colombo for breach of human rights.
(Refer: http://www.china-defense-mashup.com/?p=3375 ).
India has an onerous task of negotiating and convincing Sri Lanka , despite China , Pakistan and Western forces, to ensure a peaceful livelihood and equal rights for Tamil minorities. Will India do it? Unfortunately, the UPA’s performance vis-à-vis China and Pakistan in its previous term (2004-2009) was pathetic and doesn’t instill confidence. Moreover, it has been subservient to western countries which may use their might to achieve their religious agenda in Sri Lanka . The Sinhala government, in its narrow-mindedness and short-sightedness, may either enforce its Sinhala agenda brutally, or allow western forces to wreak havoc in Tamil dominated areas.
Out of the Tamil dominated East and North, the Eastern Province ’s Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan has been acting as Rajapakse government’s stooge, like his party colleague and central minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralidharan alias Col. Karuna. As they don’t get along well with each other, these two men might not be effective in helping the Tamil Hindus achieve freedom and equal rights.The Northern Province also needs a Chief Minister and in the race are Samuel Chelvanayakam Chandrahasan, son of Samuel James Velupillai Chelvanayakam, Federal Party stalwart who fled the country in 1984 and did not return; and Anandasangaree, president of TULF, who consistently fought for the Tamil cause democratically and did not flee despite grave threats to his life.
Though both are against the LTTE, Anandasangaree commands more respect and affection from the Tamil community for staying with them and fighting for their rights. He is a Hindu and understands the aspirations of Tamil Hindus, who comprise 85 percent of the community. Yet political analysts feel India may attempt to get Chandrahasan as Chief Minister of the Northern Province as he is a Christian and may be preferred by the ‘Dravidian’ politicians of Tamil Nadu, who do not favour Anandasangaree. It would be better for Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus to choose Anandasangaree as their chief, as he would be a peaceful negotiator with the Sinhalese and would not become a puppet in the hands of the Dravidian-Christian nexus, besides being a senior political expert and sincere guide to Pillaiyan and Karuna (both Hindus).
The Hindu leaders of Tamil Nadu must prevail upon their Buddhist counterparts in Sri Lanka and make them aware of the imminent dangers of allowing western forces into the country in the garb of aid-merchants and NGOs. They should be reminded of the Christianisation of Buddhist countries like South Korea . The Buddhist clergy must be enlightened about the importance of Buddhist-Hindu unity, which would in turn help the easy revival of peaceful co-existence between the communities. This would effectively extinguish the machinations of other forces likely to move through the political leadership in Colombo and New Delhi .
The author is a senior journalist and lives in Chennai