Political killings and Eelam Liberation Struggle

by M.Sooriasegaram

(September 24, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) First of all I wish to thank Jayapalan for inviting me to speak today on a subject that is of most concern to all Sri Lankan people and in particular to the Tamil speaking people. The subject matter before me is Political killings and Eelam Liberation Struggle.

This is a subject I do not wish to beat about the bush. I will be honest and direct but no offence is meant to anyone who may have a different political understanding. During the follow up discussions at the end I would like to hear your different viewpoints on this subject. You are most welcome to challenge my views and analysis. I will try my best to answer any questions you may wish to ask. I believe that political unity through democratic discussions and debates gives us the best chance for moving forward.

Eelam Liberation Struggle under the despotic leadership of Ltte is now on the verge of defeat and bankrupsy. But we still have to face the tyranny of the Sri Lankan Army and other para-military groups and carry on the struggle against Sinhala Chauvinism to secure devolved power to the regions acceptable to the people.

At this point in time the pro-Ltte Tamil Diaspora is very busy lobbying in Britain to salvage the Ltte, to give a kiss of life to this despotic group, which is in my view an exercise in futility because through out the world Ltte stands as an undemocratic, terroristic, inhuman, discredited and banned organisation.

Its tyranny is no longer bearable by the people in Eelam.

It is essential to learn the correct lessons to be able to shape and carry forward the struggle. Defeat of the Ltte is not the end of the struggle, as claimed by many. In my view it is the beginning of a new democratic era, which of course will present its own problems. But at least the people will be allowed to live their lives and determine their method of struggle to secure their rights.

Political killings

Remember - political killings were not discovered by Prabakaran or Mahinda. They have been going on for centuries.

Individual political killings and assassinations were well known to us:

MK Gandi – humanity lost out
Martin Luther King – another big loss
SWRD – the country lost a great leader
JF Kennedy – a tragedy
Indira Gandi – lost the most popular leader of the time. She was once voted the most popular and most loved leader in the world.

Rajiv Gandi – his killing was a monumental mistake which is realised only now by the Ltte. They always act first and think later! But they are unable to put it right now. How can they?

India is the largest democracy in the world and Rajiv Gandi came from a political family cherished and highly respected throughout the world. More importantly, he was democratically elected by the people of India, including the Tamils in India. Whereas Prabakaran is an unelected and self appointed leader of a group of bravados. He was sending a poor helpless woman with a bomb hidden in her chest to deceitfully explode and murder such a prime minister in the name of the Tamil speaking people of Sri Lanka. This is the biggest insult to the people of India and to the Tamil people of Sri Lanka. History can never forgive those who were directly involved and those who justified this murder. Can anybody tell me how this is supposed to assist our liberation?

Now he Ltte is sending TNA MPs with begging bowls to meet the Indian Prime Minister Mr.Singh. Recently a TNA MP told me of the trauma he was going through during such a visit to India. He said that his heart was going through so much pain as if he was behind the murder of Rajiv.

Premadasa – killing solved no problems

Amirthalingam – most popular Tamil leader, elected by the people unanimously not like the TNA MP’s who got selected to become mouthpieces of Ltte rather than representing the Tamil people. If the struggle was allowed to be lead by him and the TULF by now we may have solved the main issues satisfactorily. What the Ltte did was a deadly blow to the Tamil people. It was an insult to the Tamil people who elected him unanimously.

The world only produces a few leaders like the ones I have mentioned. We must treasure them and allow them to lead our struggles. Not murder them.

The important thing is that these killings failed to solve anything. On the contrary, they made the problems more complex and more difficult to solve. They spread violence through out the Island and are responsible for the mess we are in today. The people who could have solved our problems have been eliminated - a permanent loss to society as a whole and to the Eelam people in particular.

Mass political killings:

15 th Century during Elizabethan rein

Ruthless religiously motivated killings, barbaric killings to resolve the conflict between Protestanism and Catholicism.
Police state through out English cities and towns
Spying against people
Arrests, imprisonment, torture and brutal public execution.
63,000 executions in the Tower of London alone
Shakespeare’s family too were executed, his cousin Saville was tortured in TOL and publicly executed in Marble Arch for the simple reason of his faith in Catholicism.

England was barbaric but that was in 1575.
P and M are barbaric in 2008!

19th Century Narodinics

Cold blooded Killings of Czarists by a misguided group called Narodnics

Lenin polemicised and waged a struggle and defeated them – without violence and killing

1933 Nazi terror

Hitler terrorised and exterminated Jews and communists in the name of National Socialism

Naxalites in India

Another radical/communistic group engaged in futile political killing and were proved to be wrong

Likewise the so called JVP uprising – a fatal mistake, recommend all to read Shan’s brilliant analysis. Today no one can be in any doubt how wrong and misguided they were.

SA National Congress

Read Long March to Freedom
Meeting/discussion between Mandela and Mao following his escape from prison in Pretoria.

Sri Lanka – Killings started by Ltte and the Sri Lankan Government later learnt this black art with the support of the international community

Successful Armed Revolutions

Chinese Revolution
Cuban Revolution
Vietnamese Revolution
Lately the power sharing arrangements in Nepal – a very interesting example of how cleverly combined democratic and armed struggles successfully.

When you compare these successful liberation movements with the Ltte’s armed struggle you can clearly see how infantile and unviability Ltte is.

Ltte can be characterised by the following:

No political education at all for its cadres – only gun training (Pongu Tamil!!)
No democratic discussion and no internal democracy
Blind Hero Worshipping of Thaliavar
Gun culture

Cynide culture – imagine what would have happened if ANC followed this idiotic culture and Nelson had taken cynide when he was first caught by Botha Regime!

Suicide bombing
Extortion of money from people including the very poor
Forcible recruitment of under-aged children
Use of Human shield
Terrorising of people
Denial of basic free speech
Spying on people
Killing of popular Tamil political leaders unanimously elected by people
Killing of Prime Minister of India, which is the largest and most respected democracy in the world
Killing of intellectuals, writers, journalists, professionals, University professors, human rights workers etc.
Bombing Sinhalese villages, buses, railway stations
Sabotaging democratic elections

The list is endless.

Under the prevailing circumstances Ltte and similar organisations cannot sustain themselves.

They are almost universally banned and not allowed to operate freely. Of course they can still operate secretly but at very high cost.

Financial, military and human resources are drying up while the enemy is doing well on these fronts, receiving military aid from the West, Japan, China, Pakistan etc.

Logistics of importing arms is becoming almost impossible with the level of surveillance around them.

At the end of the day it is the people who will be the backbone of any liberation and without their active participation there is no chance of succeeding. Tyrannical methods will not work in the long run.

The Tamil Diaspora believed that they could commission and pay a group of gun carrying bravados based in Kilinitchi to liberate the Tamils and win Eelam.
They now realise that was a pipe dream to say the least.

Prabakaran is not stupid – he knows that he cannot sell his politics to the Tamil people.

When his political case has no chance of being accepted by the people he has no choice but to resort to killings and terror tactics, which is the only way he knows to keep himself in power over the Tamil people. This has been the basic tactics of the Ltte.

It is impossible to sustain any armed liberation group without the active support of the people. The Tamil Diaspora believed that they can commission and pay a group of bravados based in Kilinotchi to liberate the Tamils and win Eelam. This is a pipe dream to say the least.

It is the right time now for us to actively engage in a dialogue with the Tamil Diaspora and challenge this position. All those who believe in devolving power to the regions under a united Sri Lanka must come together to take the liberation struggle forward.

We have to speak loud and clear in favour of democracy and freedom for the people and reject all forms of oppression.
- Sri Lanka Guardian