Sri Lanka is a country with a rich history and great potential. But this island also has a dark past and that is the bloody insurgencies we faced which costed us thousands of lives over the years and dampened our efforts to grow.
Today, ten years after the end of the conflict against the Tamil Tiger rebels, Sri Lankans faced deadly attacks once again, on Easter Sunday. The communities targeted were minorities and tourists and even six months later, we have commissions still trying to figure out who is to blame despite the authorities having had vital prior information about the possible attacks.
If we consider the trends which led to these deadly conflicts, one can notice that it all happened under the UNP governments. During the 1983 Black July riots, several Tamil and Sinhalese citizens were killed, which led to Sri Lanka fighting a 30 year civil conflict. Infact this was the core reason for the Sinhalese and Tamil communities, especially in the north and east to fall apart and to date, both communities are feeling the brunt of it.
The President back then was J.R Jayawardena and he and his government did nothing positive to nip the issue in the bud. Infact to date, there are allegations that the UNP were partly to blame for unleashing terror on the minority communities back then only to destabilize the areas dominated by the SLFP, in order to gain a wider control. The 1983 Black July riots was indeed a conspiracy which the UNP government has to blame for, but neither was the matter thoroughly probed and neither did J.R Jayawardena apologize to the nation for his government’s failure to prevent the start of the island’s bloodiest war. How can he, when there are many questions left unanswered even to this day over the 1983 riots.
Then came the 1987 to 1989 JVP insurrection, that too under the J.R Jayawardena government. Back then, following the JVP insurrection in 1971, the marxists were a banned organisation and many of their leaders were serving life sentences. However after coming to power and forming a government, the UNP released all the jailed leaders in 1977 and in 1987 the JVP launched its bloodiest insurgency against the state. Infact even those years when the JVP was not proscribed, they were involved in efforts to destabilize the SLFP majority areas, making one wonder as to why the UNP government back then released the sentenced JVP members from jail. However after the 1983 Black July riots, the JVP was once again was banned by J.R.Jayawardena’s government on charges that it had a hand in instigating the 1983 riots, a move too late as by then thousands had lost their lives.
Then came the Aluthgama riots in 2014, which was during the Rajapaksa government. However during these riots, former President Rajapaksa and his government ordered strict measures and ensured that violence did not spread to other areas and the matter came under rest within a matter of a week. Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa personally visited the affected areas and assured his government’s fullest cooperation and an impartial inquiry. It was a bitter battle which could have spiraled out of control but within a matter of a week, the government was able to restore normalcy and communities were able to return back to their daily lives.
It is now widely known that the UNP government indeed had a hand in instigating these attacks in Aluthgama, as it was just months before the 2015 presidential elections. It was part of the UNPs conspiracy to spread hate against the Rajapaksa administration and create a communal rift. The UNP highly spoke about the riots during their election campaigning and made it one of their core subjects to win over minority votes, but unsurprisingly when the UNP government came to power in 2015, the inquiry which was initiated by my father saw no results. Infact to date, no one knows the status of this probe and the government have turned a blind eye. Not a single individual was produced before court, and the matter was swept under the carpet.
Then in 2018, the Digana riots occurred which once again split the Muslim and Sinhalese communities. The DIG was arrested back then and there was ample evidence that this was conspired by the government. Infact for days after the attacks, both the President and Prime Minister had failed to even visit the affected sites. It was Hon. Rajapaksa who visited the affected areas just hours after violence broke out and consoled the victims. To date, we have not seen the fruits of this investigation as well and it is the victims who suffered.
Then in 2019, we faced one of our deadliest attacks since the end of the civil conflict in May 2009. The suicide attacks on Easter Sunday once again targeted minority communities and it is disappointing that despite having prior intelligence information, the UNP failed to act. Even one hour before the attack, there were reports that the Indian intelligence had alerted our authorities, but our government was too busy resolving their own power struggles and hatching conspiracies against the Rajapaksas.
It is a joke to think that MPs such as Harin Fernando were informed by their parents to avoid going to church, but the fact that they failed to inform the public is a huge question mark.
This attack surprisingly also happened a few months before next month’s Presidential election and this leads one to wonder as to why all of these bloody attacks have occurred under the UNP governments. This seems to have always been the thoery of the UNP, to divide and rule.
Even though Sri Lanka gained independence from the British in 1947, with the formation of the UNP, the British ideology has not changed. The UNP continues to have their same ideology of divide and rule, even though it costs the country and all its citizens very heavily.
Sri Lanka is a united country and we have great potential to succeed. Our success was felt the years after we won the conflict in 2009. In just a short period of time, under the Rajapaksa regime Sri Lanka made it into international ranks and emerged as an ideal tourism hub. Our path to progress was felt by all.
Our national security was never compromised even once under the Rajapaksa regime and our citizens were safe. It is easy for this government to harp that the Rajapaksas are to blame for everything, only to cover up their own conspiracies, but there was a vast difference this country felt under the previous government and this failing government.
Sri Lanka will never succeed under a UNP ideology and it is time we change our future. Nov. 17th is just weeks away. Vote for a leader who will lead you all to success rather than a dangerous ideology which will ruin us all.