The oppression by the Sinhalese – victimization of the Tamils
After 2009, the Sinhala state has pursued various political goals and invested heavily in its rhetoric, credibility, and law, especially in warfare. This investment has become so ingrained in intellectual learning and in the media that this rhetoric has become an essential part of people’s identity, especially Sinhala identity.
Among the ‘affected’, no steps have yet been taken to improve the lag. In most countries, institutionalization had become a success of victims’ rights to justice.
Although the war victims are of different ethnic backgrounds, ‘Tamils’ are the focus group of this article. The Sri Lankan government had waged war against the Tamils even though the Tamils affected by the war were a minority. For this reason, we focus on the genocide of the Tamils. This was a systematic genocide by the Sinhala state.
The post-2009 identification system was based on bilateral interactions. When they consider why I refer to the dichotomy, the affected (the Tamils) are a magnet, the poles are the guilty and the winners. For Sri Lanka, the divide is drawn between the guilty and the poles.
The criminal justice system, the transitional justice system implemented after mass violations of human rights or after the genocide, takes a victim-centered approach to reconciliation efforts (Enns 2007). A community or individuals who did not participate in the war, but were affected by the war at least once, have contributed significantly to the evidence of the war, the crimes, the immediacy of the war, and its consequences.
In reconciliation efforts in criminal cases, those affected are at the center. There were calls from the Tamil side for reconciliation efforts in Sri Lanka after 2009 and for transitional justice efforts to be structured as a people-centered mechanism. However, the Sri Lankan government was deaf.
The Tamil community is the ethnic group affected by the genocidal political violence in Sri Lanka. The political representative must maintain a political platform. What many scholars accept is that the impact is a political and social structure. This social structure can be structured in two ways. One is the Sri Lankan state and the second is the affected people (deWaardt, 2016). For the Tamils, the need to reconstruct the victims of international crimes is a historical necessity and a strategy to take the Tamils to the next level.
In the current political and historical situation, it is important to accelerate the legitimate propaganda of international crimes, especially those of us who are victims of genocide, through elaboration and acceptance.
Victims may not self-identify as victims in some cases, but they serve as witnesses in most cases (Cath Collins, 2010). According to international experts, the term ‘victim’ is essential in criminal justice (de Waardt, 2016), as victims have rights under international law. Only half of these rights belong to state and political violence.
Uelms (Uelms, 2013), who analyzed collective violence among Muslim women in Bosnia, notes that female social activists working for justice in the hinterland wanted to identify themselves as victims because victimhood demonstrates innocence and promotes their moral purity. This legitimizes their demand for justice. This strategy will attract the attention of many at the international level and accelerate the efficiency of the process.
Anil Schubert’s (2013) study of Sri Lanka attempts to construct the victims, especially in the post-2009 political arena, as an elite class. The politics behind framing them as an elite class needs to be explored.
The influence of the Sinhala structure
The victim of the Sinhala set up of the victors and the guilty is the imperialist structure. The imperialist structure tries to treat the affected Tamil community with the impoverishment, powerlessness, and weaknesses of a mere loser who cannot function alone, seeking the sympathy and compassion of others while seeking the support of money and material aid.
It refuses to recognize the collective rights of Tamils and the collective victimization of victims of political violence in Tamil. Since May 2009, the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the victim, has been trying to interpretively construct the term by interpreting it in the language of Stanley Cohen (1996). He tries to frame the Tamil national liberation movement as a struggle for rights – a struggle against Sinhala Buddhist nationalism, Sinhala Buddhist oppression, and colonialism for the Tamil people and against the existence of Sinhala Buddhism. It hides the historical fact that the creation of Tamil nationalism is against Sinhala national colonialism.
The next step is to identify the LTTE as the main culprits and construct them as “the others”. The others in this case take on the meaning of “migrants” (Schubert 2013: 7). In this way, the entire Tamil community is portrayed as migrants. According to Schubert, the LTTE and its affiliates, who belong not only to the LTTE but also to its entire network of criminals or delinquents, have turned Sri Lanka into a terrorist nation. In his victory speech (Schubert 2013: 8), he makes the entire Sinhala nation a collective victim by stating that the LTTE has terrorized the entire Sinhala nation.
The Sri Lankan government denies that there is an ethnic problem in Sri Lanka and claims that the LTTE is the problem and the master of the problem and that there is only Tiger terrorism (Neil De Votta 2007: 37). By creating the rhetoric/fiction that the Sinhala state was forced to fight evil, the reconciliation efforts already undertaken could be seen as distracting.
He justifies the war and the manner in which the war was fought by positioning the Sinhala state and its structures to fight terrorism as victors and heroes. He repeatedly described the war as a humanitarian war and alienated the Tamil people from the LTTE by claiming that the Sinhala state fought a war to save the Tamil people from LTTE terrorism. In his speech, Mahinda Rajapaksa referred to three forms of victimization (Schubert 2013: 11).
- All people living in Sri Lanka are a collective victim of LTTE terrorists,
- Tamils count as special victims affected by LTTE terrorism,
- Sinhalese count as real victims.
The first type of victim of Mahinda Rajapaksa lives in Sri Lanka as a whole. Mahinda Rajapaksa is leading a massive mobilization of the masses against the LTTE, with sacrifice as the focal point. “Mobilisation of victims.” The rhetoric transcends racial, religious, and gender differences and the LTTE embraces terrorist victims under one umbrella. In this way, Mahinda Rajapaksa creates a collective memory against the LTTE by creating a common past. The collective Sri Lankan brand, the common deadline, and collective memory is imposed on everyone living in Sri Lanka. In doing so, the Sinhala government has identified the collective vulnerability it desires. The introduction of public identity extends Sri Lanka’s unilateral regional character to the north and east. Moving the center of power to Colombo limits the devolution of power and strengthens the monopoly.
The main tactic used by the Sinhala government from the beginning was to create divisions among Tamils by making Tamils victims of the LTTE. Tamils are against the Tamils, Tamils are the enemies of the Tamils and the Tamils are on the verge of political death. As a result, the entire Tamils are conceived as Sri Lankans and constitute the central authority. The Sinhala government and its structures have established themselves as the saviors of the Tamils and justified the liberation of the Tamils from paganism. The Sinhala state has not erected its monument. For this reason, the Sinhala government has banned the creation of massacre memorials. The structure of commemorating the murder of the Tamils contradicts the prevailing structure of the Sinhala state.
Portraying the Sinhalese as victims of pseudo-terrorism is like painting a history of Sinhala Buddhist oppression with rose petals. In this way, Mahinda Rajapaksa creates a competitive victim, especially by pointing out that the Sinhalese are the real victims.
Mahinda Rajapaksa frames the victim of Sinhala political violence while framing the real Sinhala victim as a victim of the LTTE. The Sinhala victimization of Mahinda Rajapaksa is political rhetoric that creates a debate among ethnic groups. When the debate is politicized and discussed among opposing groups, the concept of who is most likely to be killed or victimized focuses on the ‘number’. This is a rhetorical trap.
The competing victimhood introduced by MasiNoor and his colleagues, Mahinda Rajapaksa’s “Special Victims” (Tamils), is actually a social segment of “us” versus “them”. This social division or structure is built from the historical mindset of Mahavamsam. There is a contradiction between Mahinda Rajapaksa’s first sacrificial structure and the second and third types of structure. Based on the structure of the story “Mahavamsam”, a competitive rivalry has been built.
Tamils are the real victims
Since May 2009, the Sinhala state has been trying to use its resources to justify the latest phase of the war. The justification is done on various platforms, through intellectual reporting standards, domestic and foreign campaigns, and other media. After the armed silence in May 2009, victims and witnesses were the weapons of the Tamils against the Sinhala state.
Since May 2009, the Sinhala government has been waging war against victims and witnesses of violence in the Sinhala state. The war process had several ends, these acts are planned and executed. The Sinhala government does not need to build this, the Tamils have a historical need and so the Tamils need to build it.
Representing the victimhood
We have to rely on third parties to represent our victims as victimization of Tamils is not institutionalized. Those who claim to represent victims in the South and other countries after May 2009 do not represent Tamil victims as the victims wish. It is a bitter fact that the information received from the victims portrayed the victim as they wanted, suited their agenda, and supported their policies. This has led to various rhetorics about victimization. The centrality of Tamil rhetoric in various rhetorics has complicated the credibility, integrity, and legitimacy of the law. The issue of rhetoric is about questioning the authenticity, trustworthiness, and morality of the victim.
When the victim is institutionalised and mobilised, the likelihood of their credibility, integrity, loyalty, legitimacy collapsing or disintegrating is very low. Institutionalisation creates a metanarrative (narrative perspective from the past). Mobilisation of missing relatives and militarisation of victims (Tamils) has been institutionalised. Although it has not been fully institutionalised, there is an effort to some extent. This is because it facilitates representation. There is a lack of opportunities to challenge the rhetoric. Other victims, such as victims of torture and organ loss, have not yet been institutionalised, as in other countries.
The Sinhala government will never allow the institutionalisation of the Tamil victim as institutionalisation is collective victimisation. The Sinhala government will tolerate the victim. The following is an examination of why Tamils need to build collective guilt.
The following are the reasons for the formation of collective victimisation by Tamils. Collective violence is caused by collective violence (Masi Noors 2009). When collective violence is caused by common violence, common violence is directly involved in structured violence (Galtung 1969). Socio-political structures of violent force are built on policies, laws, and uneven development. The collective impact on society can be due to the following.
- Hate crimes
- Genocide (Maasi Noor, 2007)
Everyone knows that Tamils in Sri Lanka have been collective victims. It is necessary that the Tamil framework for collective victimisation through genocide is developed as follows in the two-part definition of genocide.
It would be considered genocide if there was an intention to destroy a nation or people of race, heritage or religion. Genocide can be carried out through the following activities.
- Physical / psychological damage
- Destruction (can be total or partial destruction) used in a planned way to affect life
- Methods to lower the birth rate
- Efforts to relocate people from one group to another ([.eh / un.org])
Tamils must build their sacrifices on multilateral platforms whose aim is to prove the genocide of Tamils and develop policies for the cause of destruction.
Victims as political activists
The most significant shortcoming of transitional justice is that it does not encourage victims to emerge as political and social activists. The government of Sri Lanka has done this perfectly. It has alienated the political system from the victims. In the case of the Sri Lankan government, the victims are simply the ones who deserve development. Just as victims’ rights were denied, political correctness was also denied.
Tamils were harassed (institutionalised and structured) by Sinhala political violence for making political demands. The political character of Tamils is the foundation of the Tamil national insurgency and the political elimination of this political issue is the issue of Tamil nationalism. Tamil victimisation must be institutionalised as a mobilisation of political justice. Tamils are the biggest victims. The responsibility to make the victim a positive and powerful force internationally and at home rests with every person living at the site of the current political history. No one can deviate from this historical duty.