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The Underside to the Sri Lankan Crisis: Lessons for India


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Source: The Wire

In a recent article, Mani Shankar Aiyer has wryly delineated the decline of Mahinda Rajapaksa from the mid-nineties when he wished to learn from Shri Aiyer, then minister for Panchayati Raj in the Rajiv Gandhi cabinet, the ropes to “empowering the people” to an autocrat who, forgetting all about “local government,” set about brutally crushing Tamil resistance led by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Mani Shankar notes how that extirpating campaign did not spare ordinary Tamil civilians, many of whom also suffered unconscionable atrocities that they did not deserve.

He also notes how the majority Sinhala Buddhists lauded the campaign.

And thereby hangs a tale.

Sri Lanka has had an 83% Buddhist Sinhala majority, with Tamils, overwhelmingly Hindu, and Muslims recording 9% and 8% minority populations respectively.

Yet, for reasons best known to them, the 83% Sinhala Buddhists have felt victimised over the years, just as we are to understand that the 80% Hindu majority in India feels victimised, again for reasons best known to those who make bold to speak for them, with or without sanction.

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