Tamil diaspora elusive over its role in Sri Lanka after Rajapaksa's re-election

Posted By: Staff
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New Delhi, Jan. 28 (ANI): Mahinda Rajapaksa's re-election as Sri Lankan President has come as a disappointment for the Tamil Diaspora, which is still reeling from LTTE rebels' defeat in the country's civil war last year.

The influential community of Tamils living overseas now doesn't know about what role it should play in their homeland, the Christian Science Monitor reports. While Rajapaksa's main opponent and former Army Chief Sarath Fonseka was no hero to Tamils either, as he led the ruthless campaign against Tamil rebels and finished the 26-year war, he had promised to address the grievances of Tamils.

That is why the Tamil National Alliance, LTTE sympathiser party, threw its weight behind Fonseka.

"Fonseka may have been the lesser of two evils, but he was still an evil. But what choice did the TNA have?," says Suren Surinendran, a leader of the Global Tamil Forum, a newly established umbrella organization of Tamil groups around the world.

But for voteless expatriates, Rajapaksa's re-election underscores a question first raised when the Tigers were vanquished: What role can the Tamil diaspora now play in their homeland's future?

Some Tamil émigrés remain dedicated to the longed for "Tamil Eelam," a separate state, which would be carved out of the north and east of the island.

A group called Eelam in Exile, which features a mugshot of the slain Tigers chief Villupillai Prabhakaran on its website, says elections for a "trans-national government" for the Tamil state will take place in April.

"The roots are still there and they will grow; we all want freedom," says the owner of a grocery store in Harrow, near London.

But other Tamil diaspora wants to play a vital role in pressing for investigations into alleged human rights abuses during the war. (ANI)

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