Taming the Tamil Tiger

Sayed Ali Moulana Photo by: Yeon Hwang
Sayed Ali Moulana
Photo by: Yeon Hwang

‘I know that it was really hard to do and peace is really hard to maintain however, after this experience I can now say that the Tamil Tiger can be tamed’

Mr. Seyed Ali Zahir Moulana is a politician and a former member of the democratic socialist republic of Sri Lanka. He attained this position from between 1944 to 2004 and he represented the Batticola district. Currently he is the mayor of Eravur. In his session The Peace Dividend he provided a wonderful insight on how he helped develop the cease-fire between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

 After the conflict between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government (1983 – 2009); Sri Lanka was on a rocky road to recovery. Along this road were many obstacles some of which were, developing and maintaining peace between the different ethnic groups in the Eastern Province (Buddhists, Hindus, Christians and Muslims).

Sri Lanka is now well on the path towards becoming South Asia’s leading hub. The Eastern Province of Sri Lanka consists of three districts.  Trincomalee, Batticola, and Amparai. As the war has now ended, Sri Lanka is making remarkable progress towards improving many sectors such as, the fishery, natural, educational, health, tourism sectors. In terms of health alone, 30 main hospitals have been reconstructed.

When asked about prior negotiations with LTTE, Moulana responded that they were given many opportunities to talk but each of these negotiations failed. This is because of the fact that, they made use of the negotiation time to regroup. They were making excuses to make time to prepare for WAR.

On a more personal note, due to the intensity of the events that took place during this time period Moulana also suffered when his children were almost kidnapped in 2004. He fondly looks back at one of his biggest shocks, ‘At one point this man came up to me and started kissing my feet and saying sorry, I was really confused until I found out that he had been hired to assassinate me’

 Dr. Moulana ended the session with a smile ‘Please feel free to come to Sri Lanka at any time we would be glad to have you’

 

Written By Hannah Akhtar and Habiba Sallam