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Are the Tamils fit rule themselves? ( Part III )

“The bulk of Tamil expatriates and Tamil intellectuals too have not shown any inclination to distance themselves from the Pol Potist regime in the Vanni. They are obsessed with the violence that vaguely held out the promise of establishing a mono-ethnic enclave, once upon a time gone by. They are clinging on to violence and to the one-man regime which they hope will deliver their elusive goal if they continue funding violence, even if that funding is going to make the condition of the Tamils worse.”

Link To Part Two

Link To Part One

(July 20, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) Understanding the moral dimensions of the politics that is swirling around us is rather confusing and difficult, considering that there is a fundamental division of opinion on the nature of the evil that confronts the nation. The passions that move us, day by day, are woven round the evil that confront us but there is no consensus on the nature of the evil.

Broadly speaking, the nature of evil that is haunting nations is sourced to two main areas: 1. the state as the root of all evil and 2. the various non-state cults/groupings, ranging from religious (e.g. Middle East) to political, resorting to unrelenting violence outside the non-violent democratic framework, to achieve their goals. In between there are, of course, the usual fence-sitters, with their on-the-one-hand-and-on-the-other hand type of arguments blaming both parties, as if they are the superior ones who occupy the high moral ground with the right to lay down the appropriate political strategies to deal with evil.

However, it should be conceded that there are grey areas in morality. But this should not be treated as a licence to indulge in moral ambivalence when the evil confronting a nation does not provide the luxury of sitting on the fence while warring parties are tearing apart the moral boundaries in pursuit of their own definitions of what is right and what is wrong, or what is due to them irrespective of the consequences to their neighbours. Besides, the gates of history are strait and narrow and do not allow ample room for all alternatives to operate simultaneously. Choices have to be made and the future depends on the choices made however hard they may be.

The choices must be made on first defining the greater evil that is confronting the nation. There is no point in tilting at the theoretical windmills which have failed to take the nation anywhere near peace. We have come to the end of the road after going through (1) regional agreements (the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement), (2) international agreements (the Ceasefire Agreement), (3) six round of peace talks, (4) the on-again-off-again tactics of the LTTE to delude themselves and the international community that they are genuine about making peace, (5) peace marches conducted by rich peace-merchants like Kumar (1.1 million rupees per month) Rupesinghe, (6) one-sided monologues conducted by NGOs excluding opinions opposed to their anti-Sinhala-Buddhist ideologies and, last but not the least, (7) the moralists in academia (like UTHR) who have come out at last in their true colours of leaning heavily towards the very evil they condemn.

The latest UTHR reports should wipe out any doubt in the minds of reasonable analysts that the LTTE must be crushed without a trace. The evil it represents is unacceptable to any rational human being. The UTHR reports confirms the frustration, the misery and the disillusionment of the oppressed Tamils living under a Stalinist police state that provides no space for the Tamils to regain their dignity. The deluded Tamils in the diaspora are yet to grasp the meaning and the grim realities faced by the helpless Tamils kept under the thumb of ruthless regime of a cult leader.

It was The New York Times that first documented the horrors and terrors of the one-man fascist regime in the Vanni. James Burns (NYT – June 25, 2005) branded Velupillai Prabhakaran as “the latest Pol Pot of Asia”. He detailed how even those Tamils who crack jokes about Prabhakaran disappear into thin air. People look over their shoulders before they dare say a word against Prabhakaran. The UTHR report confirms this and more. The report does not give a sliver of hope to the Tamils kept as prisoners in the Vanni.

This, mark you, is the first experiment of Tamils running an administration of their own. With all its infirmities and socio-economic pressures, the much-maligned “Sinhala governments” from day one of independence ran a democratic, tolerant, multi-cultural society in which its political opponents had the right oppose non-violently. The media too had its share of freedom to function independently, though with certain limitations from time to time. In contrast, from day one of the Pol Potist rule in the Vanni the Tamils lost everything – their freedoms, their welfare, their dignity, their peace, their security and above all, their right to keep their children at home without being grabbed by hated apparatchiks of the Pol Potist regime.

The UTHR report paints the persecution, the oppression and the denial of the basic rights of even the old and the sick to lead lives of peace and quiet. The first rulers of a Tamil regime have decimated the Tamils and treated them like cattle led to slaughter, to quote the UTHR report. Two serious issues arise from this: 1) does the LTTE have any legitimacy to hold any power in any capacity in any civilized society? and, more importantly, 2) are the Tamils capable of governing themselves?

If the best that the Tamil expatriates and the Tamil intellectuals can produce is the Pol Potist “Sun God”, the embodiment of all abominable political crimes, it is legitimate to ask whether any powers should be devolved to the Tamils to run any kind of administration of their own. Ranil Wickremesinghe is on record arguing for greater autonomy to the Tamils saying that the Sinhalese could exploit their bitter rivalry to their advantage. This is contemptible cynicism of the worst kind.

Handing power to the Tamils when they have proved that they are not capable of conducting their affairs in a democratic, tolerant, and non-violent manner is a serious threat not only to the other communities but also to regional peace. The Tamils also have not shown a capacity to rally round any leader in the democratic stream like V. Anandasangaree or Douglas Devananda, whatever their faults may be. They have an opportunity in the East under Pillaiyan. With the arrival of Karuna eastern politics, hopefully, may not take a violent turn with internecine warfare.

The record of “the sole representative of the Tamils” has been appalling. Those who dared to deviate from this fascist regime like Lakshman Kadirgamar and Ketheeswaram Loganthan were eliminated. Furthermore, UTHR in its latest report scoff at those in the democratic stream, denouncing them as puppets in the hands of the Sinhala regime. The logic of this is that UTHR is either undecided as to whether they should follow the evil Tiger to the bitter end or not, or has chosen to cast its lot with the LTTE and not with the Tamils opposed to the LTTE.

The bulk of Tamil expatriates and Tamil intellectuals too have not shown any inclination to distance themselves from the Pol Potist regime in the Vanni. They are obsessed with the violence that vaguely held out the promise of establishing a mono-ethnic enclave, once upon a time gone by. They are clinging on to violence and to the one-man regime which they hope will deliver their elusive goal if they continue funding violence, even if that funding is going to make the condition of the Tamils worse.

The rationale for the perpetuation of violence has been provided by the latest UTHR report. When the UTHR report argues that the funding of the Tamil expats is going to make the suffering of the Tamils worse and yet this should not prevent them from funding because the violence perpetuated from their funding is going to destabilize the south and that is the only means left for the Tamils to attain their unattainable goal, then it is clear that the authors of UTHR are no better than the barbaric apparatchiks of the Pol Potist regime who have lost the plot like all other Tamils in the Tiger camp and are sliding down the down the irredeemable slope to hell.

If the ultimate end product of the vaunted Tamil culture is Prabhakaran – the man who has killed more Tamils than any other force -- and if the once respected authors of UTHR are now desperately manufacturing excuses to prop up Prabhakaran what hope is there for the Tamils, their culture or their future? Prabhakaran in his dying days will predictably hit in all directions, irrespective of the moral considerations of his violence. As Varatharaj Perumal, the Chief Minister under the Indians, once said: “Prabhkaran will fight till the last Tamil is dead or migrate to Canada!”

But should UTHR which has reputation to protect human rights follow Prabhakaran? How can UTHR claim to be a respectable moral guide to anyone if it is peddling excuses for Prabhakaran, either directly or indirectly? This is most appalling because it has been a trenchant critic of the LTTE violations of human rights, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Has UTHR too flip-flopped because it is frightened of losing the fire power to keeping on arguing for the devolution of more and more power to a mono-ethnic enclave?

As demonstrated amply in the east the Tamils have nothing to fear except the loss of their Pol Potist chains. This has been demonstrated amply in the east. The mission of this war is to end the fascist regime in the Vanni and its brutal violence. It is not a war to deny or suppress the legitimate rights of the Tamils or any other community. The latest opinion poll conducted by the Centre for Policy Alternative, an anti-Sinhala-Buddhist NGO, has confirmed this. The demonized Sinhala-Buddhists have once again expressed their willingness to live under a new constitutional arrangement which is fair to all communities, even federalism if it comes to that.

However, it can be safely predicted that the solution that is going come out of it will not certainly satisfy the insatiable appetites of the power-hungry Tamils. Compromises will have to be made in keeping with the aspirations of all communities. It is the demand for an undue share of power only to the Tamils that is at the root of all evils.

In any case, the conduct of the first “Tamil de-facto state” under the latest Pol Pot of Asia puts a huge question mark as to whether the Tamils are capable of running any administration humanely. Prabhakaran, their “Sun God” is not the best example for establishing a modern state conforming to known civilized or international humanitarian laws. His delusional claim to be “the sole representative of the Tamils” alone is a clear indicator of his fascist, intolerant, undemocratic mentality. Actually, his place should be before an international tribunal to make him accountable for the crimes he has committed against his own community, let alone the others.

It is, indeed, sad to see respected institutions like UTHR selling its soul to the fascist regime in Vanni. If their objective is to let the conditions of the Tamils worsen than what it is now for the Tamils to perversely enjoy the destabilizing of the south to achieve political their goals how can UTHR claim to be a cut above the rest in upholding high moral principles? How can UTHR expect higher moral standards from others in protecting the lives of the Tamils who, according to the latest twist of Tamil intellectual thinking, can be thrown to the wolves?

If the best of Tamils do not care for the Tamils can the Tamils be trusted with even a modicum of power to protect their own kith and kin? In short, are the Tamils fit to rule the Tamils, or even the dogs in their backyard?

( H.L.D.Mahindapala: Editor, Sunday and Daily Observer (1990 - 1994). President, Sri Lanka Working Journalists' Association (1991 -1993). Secretary-General, South Asia Media Association (1993 -1994). He has been featured as a political commentator in Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Special Broadcasting Services and other mainstream TV and radio stations in Australia.)

- Sri Lanka Guardian


Lankan said...

If you look at the way these so called diaspora leaders have behaved in the last 25 years, you can clearly see that all they cared was to boost their egos by backing this "sun god" to sacrifice poor people's children.

What a waste of young lives, sinhalese or tamil. After contributing so much to so many to premature deaths, for them to talk of human rights is joke.

karl said...

The real question is not whether the Tamils are fit to rule themsevles but whether Mahindapala and his ilk are able to govern their tribalist passions.Indeed the Tiger suporters must welcome every overwrought and hysterical outburst that M provides so frequently because reading this drivel can only increase their commitment to resistence.Would you want to be under the york of people who are so emotionaly undisciplined and incendiary as M seems to be?Instead of throwing petrol on people and burning them this July M is throwing verbal bombs...

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