LONDON: The Sinhalese and Tamil Diaspora periodically launch protests in their host countries galvanised by events that affect their particular tribe. Often they are financed, organised or encouraged by their political formations. The ones perceived as “Tamil” protests are often organised/encouraged by the LTTE or organisations, which are affiliated/sympathetic to the Tamil cause. The ones perceived as “Sri Lankan” protests are organised/encouraged by the Sri Lankan government and they represent interests that are perceived by them of representing “Sinhalese” ethnic interests.
It is often comical to observe the two sides, the tribes of Lanka, protesting for their narrow sectarian interests and perceived and real injustices. During the final stages of the war in May 2009, it was the “Tamils” who were protesting in force outside Westminster, some launching death fasts. They were aggrieved that their perceived interests were being compromised by the silence of Westminster in support of the Sri Lankan state, hence their protest outside. As the Tamils agitated outside Westminster, the Sinhalese grinned with satisfaction as their tribe were on the ascendant.
Now the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction.
The Sinhalese are aggrieved that their perceived interests are bring compromised by Channel 4 TV station exposing alleged war crimes of the Sri Lankan state. So, on Sunday, the “Sinhalese”, most probably encouraged by the High Commission in London, protested outside Channel 4, braving abusive weather conditions. As the Sinhalese protested outside Channel 4 TV station, the Tamils would have grinned with satisfaction, as it was now their side, which was on the ascendant.
Policing the circus
British law enforcement authorities are aware of all these Sinhalese/Tamil tribal games and who are behind them. They view it as an inconvenience, resulting in having to make allocations from their law enforcement budget for policing the circus. Both sides generally exaggerate figures, to impress upon their tribe that they had a large protest. In this instance the numbers were said to be 3000.
If a standing human being occupied a space of 3 feet by 2 feet, then 3000 standing humans would be expected to occupy an area of 18000 square feet. Given that they were packed into a 10 feet wide space on the pavement, then you would expect 3000 humans to occupy more than half a kilometre of pavement. The readers can look at the photographs and decide if the protest was more than half a km long.
It is also normal practice for law enforcement authorities to discretely obtain film and photographs of protestors in order to identify them. I was informed that food had been organised for the protestors. The British authorities also usually know who paid for the food. Soon, you will see TV footage of the protest in Sri Lanka. It will not say that the Sri Lankan government organised and paid for the protest which was 99% Sinhalese. It will inform Sri Lankans in Sri Lanka that the “Sri Lankan community” protested.
But the British law enforcement and the Tamils know the identity of those who encouraged from the sidelines. It was the same in May 2009 outside
Westminster. The protesters and the death fast was, we were told, “Tamils” protesting. But the Sinhalese/Sri Lankan government and the British authorities knew the identity of those encouraging from the sidelines.
The “officials” of the LTTE encouraging the May 2009 protest outside Westminster and the Sri Lankan government “officials” encouraging the protest outside Channel 4 on Sunday will have pat themselves in the back and sent a report to Sri Lanka about their handy work. They would have gone to sleep all excited and happy at the success of their protest. There might even be some friction as to who should get the credit. The authorities in Colombo will be happy. A job well done.
Some protestors would have listened to some pirith as well, since mobilisation came from some Buddhist temples in London. I wondered what Buddha will have to say about all this protesting, and also war crimes????
Waiting to be rescued by China and Russia
Observing all this excitement from North London, it seems to me, that the LTTE “officials” were in effect misleading their supporters back home. As the May 2009 protest gathered momentum around the world, Prabakaran waited to be “rescued” by the “world”.
The Sri Lankan “officials” in London are also misleading their supporters back home, the ordinary Sri Lankan, in not disclosing to the Sri Lankan public the truth behind all this protesting. They too are waiting to be rescued by China and Russia. They are not quite sure about India at this time, as they were always somewhat duplicitous?
I was annoyed that my good tax money was being spent to police this tribal circus. But, then I am thankful for small mercies. We didn’t have a “death fast” this time. Consider the policing cost of that.
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