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Saturday 23 June 2012

New chapter in Tamil struggle for political rights – A response - I

It is very clear that R. Sampanthan had told the fourteenth national convention of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) held recently in Batticoloa to work with him to invite the western countries to give them Eelam. He has not come out with the truth in his arguments but he has made it clear that he wants an Eelam and nothing else. In essence what he says is that the Tamils have not been successful in establishing an Eelam through so called peaceful means at first and then through an armed struggle, and the only option now available is to invite the western powers and India to intervene and establish an Eelam. This is the so called new (fourth, the first being the attempt by the English from about 1825 to 1947 to make the English educated Vellalas the leaders of the country, the second and the third respectively being the so called peaceful means of Tamil racism, and bloodshed by Tamil terrorism led by Prabhakaran and supported by ITAK to whom the terrorists were their boys) chapter he is talking about, giving the impression that the west and India had been against Tamil terrorism and Tamil racism until recently. He hides the fact that England had been with the Tamil leaders from the very beginning in the twenties of the nineteenth century and had wanted the latter to become the leaders of Sri Lanka and to weaken Sinhala nationalism that was fighting against English colonialism from 1817. Many people who claim that Sri Lanka won independence without a struggle and bloodshed forget that the Sinhala people had fought against the English to win independence had shed a sea of blood in the process. The massacre of the Sinhalas in Uva Vellassa in 1817-1818 and in Matale and Sathkorale in 1848 by the English “humanitarians” will not be forgotten by the ordinary Sinhala people. It is the historians trained by the English who think that independence was achieved through petitioning to the Whitehall in London. Later towards the end of the nineteenth century the emphasis of the anti colonial independence struggle was on the cultural component rather than on the political component, and the historians mentioned above are prepared to ignore these heroic anti colonial struggles led by Anagarika Dharmapala and the Bhikkus. The English trained historians want to erase these independence struggles from history as it was the Sinhalas, especially the Sinhala Buddhists who fought against colonialism. As far as these historians are concerned independence struggle began after the aborted Ceylonese nation was created by the English first under the leadership of the Burghers then under English educated Vellalas.

In order to remind Sampanthan how the west supported Tamil terrorism even as late as April 2009, I quote the following passage as it appeared in a website. ‘(the website had) found from a leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database, dated April 17,2009. The cable is classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” and written by the US Ambassador in Sri Lanka Robert O. Blake. The cable details the outcome of the April 16-17 visit to Sri Lanka by UNSYG Chief of Staff Vijay Nambiar and civilians evacuate plans the international community had. The cable also details the meetings the diplomatic community has had with Defense Secretary, the Foreign Minister and the President of Sri Lanka. Ambassador Blake wrote “Ambassador warned the Minister that if the government pursued a military option without first allowing high-level diplomacy a chance, Sri Lanka could expect escalating international criticism and actions to demonstrate the international community’s concern. The Ambassador said such actions could include suspension of aid to Sri Lanka, closer scrutiny of IMF lending, possible war crimes investigations, and perhaps other actions.” The website does not refer to what Nambiar was up to in Colombo, namely organizing the departure of Prabhakaran and the other terrorist leaders by means of a ship. In any event what is happening now by stages is what Blake had warned, and we know what is meant by other actions. It is this other action that Sampanthan wants the west to execute in order to establish an Eelam. If the President did not stand up to the pressure exerted by the west and India he would not have had any problems regarding war crimes. He would have been hailed as a democratic leader who brought peace to the country with Sri Lanka in pieces. Nambiars, Blakes and Sampanthans together with Prabhakaran have failed and now they want to turn to chapter four in Tamil racism. Though we did not have access to these cables then, we knew the plans of the west and their henchmen and henchwomen operating in Sri Lanka promoting so called peace process while supporting the LTTE in their attempt to establish Eelam, with money and weapons. We are not fools to believe that the LTTE income was only from extortions, donations, drug deals and other vulture ventures. When Sampanthan says “We gather here following our victory in the passage of the recent Resolution at the UN Human Rights Council, a condemnation against the Sri Lankan government by the international community, which has recognized that the Sri Lankan government has committed the crime of extermination against our people, and that it continues to deny them their political rights.” he is only “postdicting” what Blake had ‘predicted’ in the WikiLeaks.

If Sampanthan wants to show that the English were not involved in promoting English speaking Vellala leaders over the English educated Sinhalas, he is trying to deceive himself. It was the English who created Tamil racism after the Dutch, and who nurtured Tamil racism in the nineteenth, twentieth centuries and up to now in the twenty first century. After about 1975, the west and the Indians supported Tamil terrorism which would not have survived without the support of the former. Sampanthan tries to create the impression that the west and India were against Tamil racism and terrorism but those who have witnessed all the manipulations know how Solheim, Dixith and others including Blake got involved in sponsoring Tamil terrorism after seventies in the guise of promoting peace talk. It is true that the first three chapters of Tamil racism are now closed without any substantial gain for the Tamil racists. It is also true that the Tamil racists are not in a position to go through the whole exercise again as it is difficult to organize the ordinary Tamils who have suffered a lot under Prabhakaran to fight against the government and the Sinhalas. What Samapnthan and other Tamil leaders should have done was to ponder why Tamil racism had failed in the first three chapters. Had they done that they would have realized that the Tamil leaders supported by the west (England at first) and India were only flogging a dead horse. They had based themselves on wrong history, misguided belief in the English who wanted to use them (kade ereema in pithy Sinhala usage) against the Sinhalas who fought colonialism, and at least by now they should have learnt their lessons. However, Sampanthan is not prepared to learn and wants to fulfill the ambitions of the ITAK. He states “What clearly emerged during this time of degradation of the Tamil people was that the Tamil community lacked a source of power – both from within and outside it. Following this history of humiliation and betrayal, a position emerged that the only solution to this problem was the establishment of a separate government for the Tamil people. It was on this basis that the Tamil United Liberation Front, of which our party was a member, took the historical decision to establish the separate government of Tamil Eelam in 1976. Based on this decision of our party, and the need to place ourselves in a position of strength, Tamil youth decided to oppose violence with violence and began to rise up as armed rebel groups.” His claim that the Tamils lacked a source of power is not correct. They had the support of the English from the very beginning but so called struggles cannot be won by resorting to lies. Samapnthan is justifying all the murders that the LTTE is responsible for, and in the process forgets that Alfred Duraiappa was killed before the Vadukkodai resolution adopted in 1976. He also forgets that the LTTE was a creation of the ITAK that engaged in bogus non violent protests which were really invitation for the misguided radicals to resort to violence. ITAK or the so called Federal Party from 1949 had been instigating the Tamils against the Sinhala people and the government, through their sathyagrahs and other so called non violent activities. The ITAK leaders and the other English educated Vellalas who could not hold on to their privileged positions in the Colombo society as the leaders of the Ceylonese and who did not have the strength to fight the government after 1949, as the English who were the patrons of Tamil racism had departed by then, wanted the ordinary Tamils to fight on behalf of them against the Sinhala people. ITAK together with India who trained the terrorists is responsible for all the crimes committed by the LTTE though ironically some of the leaders of the ITAK as well as Rajiv Gandhi were victims of the LTTE. Smpanthan who is not prepared to learn any lesson has no option but to turn to the west and India and also to the dispersed Tamils in the western countries (chapter four) wrongly referred to as the diaspora appealing to Biblical stories, in order to achieve his and his party’s ambition of a separate Tamil state. (To be continued)

Copyright Prof. Nalin De Silva