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

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

Recruitment Genius: Web Marketing Specialist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading Renewable Energy compa...

Ashdown Group: Data Warehouse & Business Intelligence Co-ordinator

£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Required skills include SQL querying, SSRS, u...

Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, PHP, HTML, JavaScript, CSS

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, HTML...

Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst- Insurance

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: The demise of a Sixties monster

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
A CCTV camera is seen in front of a large poster opposite in central London  

Home Office is creating more powers to turn everyone into suspects – but leave us no safer

Shami Chakrabarti
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?