Demonising SriLankan Tamils struggle ... without careful thought ...
What the Sinhala government is now trying to do to the Tamil people is nothing new. Exactly the same thing was done in Vietnam by the US army. SriLankan Tamil refugees are there all over Europe and their number in India is growing. All these factors make the situation even more highly volatile, which in all possibility will create new polarizations.
The short term military defeat of LTTE can no longer prevent the Tamil issue from becoming an international one and change to guerilla war within the island any moment. That is why the Sri Lankan political leadership is talking of 'protected' villages. The Sri Lankan government by its barbarity and outrageous double talk is only facilitating this process. The offensive has clearly taken the form of genocide and is rightly a crime against humanity. 21st Century's Hitler has arrived! Hitler remained firm in his post,and ordered for 200 litres of Gasoilne for burning himself! This time around he would have taken care of all the documents from the reach of international community.
He has fooled India totally indeed on two counts - taking all possible help and also turning himself into a total enemy!
The Tamil national question has got a very long history and is very much rooted in well entrenched objective factors which are multidimensional in nature. The island of SriLanka has been shared between Tamils and Sinhalese ever since the historical emergence of both the ethnic identities. According to Sinhalese accounts even, Tamils 'were in' at the very beginnings of their mythological arrival to the island, two and a half millennia ago.
A deeply political question of national self determination of SriLankan Tamils has been only temporarily converted into a humanitarian one. Exactly the same thing was done in Vietnam by the US army. At that time it went under the name of hamletisation. It was the policy of herding the people to concentration camps so that the guerillas will be isolated. As a preparation for physical liquidation the Nazis had done the same thing to the Jews in Poland and other countries in Europe. Here let me recall my earlier Posting on 'the Death of Hitler'.
US policy in Vietnam, though it heaped horrendous suffering on the people, became an abject failure because the guerillas could successfully infiltrate the concentration camps and wreck them from within. The humanity of 21st Century shouldn't the recent Hitler fare any better against the Tamils. His offensive has been the form of genocide.
The articulation of the strong wave of sympathy and solidarity towards the persecuted SriLankan Tamils in Tamil Nadu has the potential of fanning Tamil nationalism in India. [Attn: madam Sonia Gandy]. It's undeniable that there is a subterranean undercurrent of Tamil nationalism holding the view that Tamils are a distinct nation which is currently in the political boundaries of India. Remember CN Annadurai's "Thamizagam" 1967 soon became "Tamil Nadu". The only consolation then was there's a Maharashtra within a Rashtra! By direct implication this view also means that it need not remain so for ever. Manmohan-Pranab-Karunanidhi 'trio' has miserably miscalculated on a short term poll agenda. Similarly sending earlier all the High Commissioners to SriLanka only from Kerala.
The sudden fear of political pundits in Delhi is that an independent Eelam, or even an Eelam with justifiable autonomy within Sri Lanka, will act against the interests of a united India by giving a fillip to Tamil nationalism within India. Secondly it could now easily win (?) in Kashmir! That war too has failed already. US will always support Pak only, covertly and overtly. And we'll continue to be a soft State appeasing minority Muslims. We're bound to suffer in Afghanstan too.
LTTE's international connections are well known. The overwhelming 'Indian' suppression of LTTE and also the SriLankan Tamils within SriLanka is bound to escalate the Tamil question to these international connections in an active manner. Already there is noticeable ferment among the Tamils in Malaysia. Suppression has commenced there too.
The possibility of the creation of Tamil international brigades to fight for Eelam cannot be ruled out.
Look carefully at what Jacob wrote. Looking sympathetic to the plight of Eelam Tamils, and bashing Colombo and Indian Establishment, Jacob in a very subtle way demonises Tamil national movement, without any supporting points! This is a typical way the Tamil struggle is being demonised in the last several decades. Whether the pundits in Delhi are worried or not, the immediate neighbours of Tamils are certainly worried.
The Tamil question in SriLanka very much remains a serious political issue in South Asia and its implications are not limited to the geo- political boundaries of the island nation but has wide ranging ramifications in the subcontinent.
The issues concerning these people revolved on the question of citizenship and are distinct from the historical question of the Sri Lankan Tamils which clearly belong to the realm of nationality question. There is little scope for confusing between these two peoples who are both of Tamil origin.
Let's not forget the fact the citizenship issue of the Indian Tamils was resolved to a large extent by the Indian and Sri Lankan governments agreeing to a pact during the Sirimao period to share the 'burden' of these people on a 50:50 basis. What has happened now?
The rationale for demanding a separate Eelam is not at all complicated. When the erstwhile Ceylon gained freedom from colonialism in 1948 it was clear to the Tamils that they constitute only a minority and as such will never be able to control their own destiny in a unitary Sri Lanka because of the brute majority of the Sinhalese and soon after gaining freedom this fact was borne out in practice. Hence, the demands for constitutional provisions to safeguard the interests of the minority Tamils arose.
But what actually happened in Sri Lankan politics was the undisguised emergence of diehard Sinhala chauvinism as a means to gain dominance in power politics by ruthless power brokers whose corrupt credentials were exposed by the JVP uprising against all-round corruption and its bloody suppression during the early 1970s. During the 1970s and 1980s this ruthless play of power politics gained all-round ascendancy in Sri Lankan politics and society. Tamil baiting became a convenient tool for the corrupt Sinhala power brokers to remain or capture political power!
Tamils were treated as the 'others' for all the ills of the society and accordingly horrendous riots were engineered against them as means of crisis management. Large numbers of Tamils in southern Sri Lanka were forced to flee, especially from the capital city. Simultaneously, attempts were made to derecognize Tamil as one of the national languages and impose the majority language as the one and only language for the whole country. This comleted the institutionalisiation of SriLankan Tamils as as second class citizens. The language question is the most important catalyst which precipitates the separatism of the Tamil people. Let us not forget that in spite of the bonds of religion it was the language question that resulted in the struggle for Bangladesh way back in the early 70s.
Let this analysis end with TWO questions:
* Didn't Cong (Indira, Rajiv) and all the Dravidian Parties help LTTE?
* High Commissioners in SriLanka only from Kerala? Never a Tamilian?
Morals of Sri lankan Tamil issue:
1) Sentimentalism does not help.
2) Military solution is no solution for Tamils
3) Terrorism cannot justify any genuine cause
4) A maniac Killer who kill his own clan with gay abandon can never lead a political cause to success
5) Terrorists and hard core killers with criminal mentality cannot be politically negotiated with.
6) Leaders with demonic tendencies cannot get success in the long run, whatever be their success in the short run.
7) Behind all these, there is God's will.
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