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Wednesday 18 December 2013

Politics of war crime allegations

TNA’sinspired call to investigate so called crimes committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces in the last phase of the humanitarian operation seems like an afterthought. After all, these crimes, supposed to have taken place four years ago and the TNA, a party that should have had intimate knowledge of such crimes,kept quiet about it all this time. A month ago TNA did not have any qualms about taking oath before the chiefperpetrator of these so called crimes.  So, one can only guess that the timing and the purpose of their agitations corresponds with the UN Human rights council meeting to be held in March next year, and is in support of a would be UN resolution against Sri Lanka sponsored by a “friendly” country. Of courseTNA has everything to gain from such agitation. But the fact that this was not a major concern for the TNA for all these years concedes that the politics behind war crime allegationsis not the politics that governs TNA, although they may be compatible.

The politics that govern TNA is the same that governed from Chelvanayagam to Prbhakaran. Their goal is to carve out ethnic Tamils from the population and come to power on the strength of their isolation and keep it that way. This kind of politics is purely local and is affected by non-Tamil politics only when the pre-imposed isolation is threatened. So, alleged war crimes should not be one of their main concerns as long as the TNA is allowed to keep their slice of the cake.

The politics of war crimes is not local. Its players are the western governments. Their ultimate goal is to keep the politics of both Sinhalas and Tamils as well as that of the Muslims permanently dependent on the west. In order to achieve their end, Sinhalas, Tamils and Muslims in Sri Lanka must be kept as segregated as possible, as it has been done throughout the colonial period. MahindaRajapaksalooks like a leader who might keep the communal politics from falling apart and this is against their management plan. This is why the western governments want to dethrone the Rajapaksas, hence the war crime allegations. But war crime allegations are not just there to oust the Rajapaksas. It is also propaganda that can be dragged on for years, causingfuture generations of Tamils to believe that they have been wronged by the Sinhalas and making sure that Sinhalas and Tamils staypermanentlysegregated in this country. Despite calls for reconciliation by western governments, war crime allegations are specifically designed to achieve the opposite.

So, the reason that the TNAwas slow to act on the war crime issue is only because they have not been told about the global management plan; for obvious reasons. That does not mean that the politics of war crimes are incompatible with that of the TNA. However, it is hard to imagine that ordinary Tamils envision their leaders being managed by foreign handsforever.

As far as Sinhalas are concerned their main goal should be to defeat the management plan of the western governments while dealing with the politics of the TNA.In this case, wining doesn’t mean just wining the vote on a UN resolution in Sri Lanka’s favor or protecting war heroes from being prosecuted for crimes they did not commit. In the long run, winning means safe guarding the sovereignty of the country from foreign interventions. If segregation is their modus operandi then the way to defeat it is to integrate.

As the guardians of the nation,Sinhala Buddhists must take the leadership in integrating the nation. In doing so, they must let go of communal politics though it may seem like letting the guard down. Throughout the independence struggle Sinhala Buddhists lost their lives, properties and their leaders like no other community in the country. Today they have lost their way of life. To add to injury they are being accused ofdominating other communities. Sinhala Buddhists did not create segregation in Sri Lanka. It is ironic that they are being asked to lead the politics of integration. But they must; if they want to resurrect Sinhala Buddhist way of life.

It is mothers who keep families together when all odds are against it. Perhaps it may be time to bring out the mother nature of the Sinhala Buddhist culture. Politics of national integration is the exact opposite politics of war crime allegations.

Janaka Wansapura