Suren Surendiran: These candidates are largely to blame for destroying our people

Share
Related Topics

As far as we Tamils are concerned, this is not the right time for any sort of election, regardless of who the candidates are.

Those in the traditional homeland are still recovering from the woes of the war; there has been no time for proper healing, rehabilitation or reconstruction. Most do not know where their loved ones are and whether they are still living or dead. They live in fear under a heavy military presence, with restricted freedom of movement.

Out in eastern Sri Lanka, Tamils suffer a continued armed paramilitary presence, and daily human rights violations that are perpetrated with impunity and with no independent investigation of these crimes. In the rest of the country, Tamils are forced to carry identity documents and are the only community compelled to register themselves with the local police.

If you were forced to choose between General Sarath Fonseka and President Mahinda Rajapaksa, then the former military chief is definitely the lesser of the two evils. But should the Tamils be backing him as their candidate in the upcoming election? I don't think so. General Fonseka, like the President, is implicated in war crimes and crimes against humanity. These two men were largely responsible for the deaths of our Tamil kith and kin and for the destruction of our homeland in the island of Sri Lanka.

They should be brought to court to answer for their crimes and, given that, I believe it is morally and ethically impossible to throw one's support behind either of these candidates.

During the past 62 years since independence, successive governments of Sri Lanka have signed many pacts and agreements with Tamils with and without international sponsorship. All of them, without exception, have been abrogated unilaterally on the government side.

We Tamils want a candidate who accepts that the Tamils have legitimate grievances and political aspirations, stands for justice, and works for the resolution for the political problem through genuine negotiations. If someone meets these criteria, then we Tamils will support him or her, regardless of ethnicity.

Previous ballots have always been rigged by government sponsors, bringing injustices to the people of the island, particularly the Tamils. The international community should monitor this election closely.

Suren Surendiran is a Tamil activist based in London

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Whitehall Editor: The spurious Tory endorsement that misfired

Oliver Wright
 

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband hasn’t ‘suddenly’ become a robust leader. He always was

Steve Richards
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence