'Sri Lanka – The New Country' – Author Padma Rao has dared to tell the truth
Padma Rao Sundarji has done a great favour to us to by writing this book. It can surely help India and Sri Lanka to strengthen our millennium old relationship.
Senior Journalist Padma Rao Sundarji's book on post war Sri Lanka 'Sri Lanka – The New Country' is a remarkable one. It is an objective analysis of the Tamil Tigers war with the Sri Lankan government. The author Padma Rao is neutral. She just wants to state the facts. She takes no side. But, for the right reasons she attacks the LTTE, calls it a murderous organisation which had thrived on the Tamil issue. It is a known fact that the LTTE caused more harm to Tamils across Sri Lanka than helping them. Megalomaniac, semi-literate leader of the LTTE Velupillai Prabhakaran (most of the megalomaniac tyrants starting from Stalin, Hitler, Polpot to Saddam and Kim Jong Un are semi-literate. I don't know why) led the bloody war for over three decades in the name of Tamils. Actually it was his personal battle. He was using the innocent, poor Tamils to fulfil his personal dreams.
Padma Rao makes a scathing attack on the so-called Tamil Diaspora, which backed the LTTE for 'other' reasons. They still talk about Tamil Eelam from the comforts of Europe, Australia or America. She also exposes the NGOs, 'NGO type' or 'NGO embedded' or 'NGO co-opted' journalists and some fly by night journalists who wrote or write eloquently about the so-called Tamil cause from their air-conditioned hotel rooms in Colombo or from an NGO run guesthouse at Negombo.
She does not spare the well funded NGOs which are busy tarnishing the image of Sri Lanka all over the World.
Padma Rao's entire book is self sponsored. She has funded it from her own resources. It is not funded or sponsored by some foreign university or some fellowship. Because of the same reason, her book enjoys more credibility than the rest.
She is a brilliant writer and a wonderful storyteller. Her language is simple, tone is measured and style is lucid. Her descriptive power is amazing. There is no melodrama and she won’t go overboard. Her sympathy is for the common Tamils, who have suffered the most during the so-called 'Eelam war'. She is sad that many of them are still suffering. As Padma Rao says they are now at least much safer and slightly wealthier when compared to their life under the LTTE.
One more important thing about the book is her careful and deliberate avoidance of Colombo elites, Colombo based so-called think tanks, pro-Tamil and anti-Tamil politicians etc. She directly talks to the people on the ground. She talks to common Tamils, Sinhalese and the Sri Lankan Army.
“Sri Lanka – The New Country” should be translated into Tamil and distributed across Tamil Nadu. It may end the systematic brainwashing of innocent Tamil youth who may still have some sympathy for the now decimated LTTE and the so-called Tamil cause.
Most post Independence (As we know India got freedom from Britain in August 1947 and Sri Lanka in February 1948) writings by Indians on Sri Lanka and Tamil cause have actually aggravated the situation instead of helping them to bridge the gap or douse the fire. If Sri Lankans view Indians with great suspicion, it is because of these reasons. Sri Lanka is a small nation. But, it is a sovereign nation. It has a history of thousands of years. It can’t be bullied by big brother India or should not be told what Sri Lanka can do or can’t do.
Padma Rao Sundarji has done a great favour to us to by writing this book. It can surely help India and Sri Lanka to strengthen our millennium old relationship. In my opinion it is the most objective book by a foreigner which dares to tell the truth about the LTTE. I have read almost every book on Sri Lanka's Tamil issue. I must admit that it is the only objective, hard hitting book, which exposes the LTTE.
In Bhagavad Gita, the Lord Krishna says
"Satyam Bruyat Priyam Bruyat Na Bruyat Satyam Apriyam
Satyam bruyat priyam bruyat na bruyat satyam apriyam
Sriyam ca nanrutam bruyat esha dharmah sanatanah"
He says speak truth in such a way that it should be pleasing to others. Never speak truth, which is unpleasant to others. Never speak untruth, which might be pleasant. This is the path of eternal morality, Sanatana Dharma.
To speak truth is an eternal value irrespective of time and place. But the expression of truth should be accompanied by two conditions. Firstly, it should be presented in a loving manner and secondly it should be spoken for the betterment of others. How you speak is as important as what is said. Priyam means speech that does not hurt others. Hitam is something that is said for the good or betterment of others. One should be careful of speaking truth but not hurting others. We should be careful in speaking the truth. The purpose should be good and the words used and the manners in which they are spoken are important. So the value of truthfulness is relative to a situation. According to the Indian scriptures while living in the world of relativity truth can be interpreted in many ways.
Padma Rao has spoken bitter truth. It may not be pleasing to 'others'. But, it will be good for both India and Sri Lanka in the long run.
Title: Sri Lanka – The New Country
Author: Padma Rao Sundarji
Paperback: 320 pages
Price: Rs 499
Publisher: Harper Collins India (17 March 2015)