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The great walls of the Tigers are falling down, falling down!




“More importantly, once the ground situation changes the dynamics of the crisis also changes with it. The disapora was buoyed by the victories on the ground in Sri Lanka. Now it’s a different ball game. Earlier, they could argue that they had territory, a de-facto state including an army, navy, police and an air force (even though they were flying biscuit tins). Now they have only a rag-tag ground force which can, at worst, launch deadly sporadic suicide missions which are counter-productive.”

(October 14, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) As everyone knows, the Great Wall of China was built to keep the invading enemies out. That Wall worked because the centralized kingdom of China had the strength and the capacity to fight the invaders. It was merely a peripheral shield to protect the well-entrenched centre. It also worked until more sophisticated weaponry successfully breached the Wall and blew out the cover available for the defenders.

Despite the ravages of time and invaders the Wall of China still stands as a monument to its greatness. Though the objective is to construct a protective structure, the building of the Tamil walls in Killinochchi doesn’t stand a chance of surviving more than the time it takes to build. The retreating Tamil Tigers have begun to build mud walls at the last minute with equipment borrowed from NGO, mainly from a Norwegian People’s Aid, (NPA), to protect a disintegrating centre. The reality is that neither the centre nor the walls has the capacity to halt the advancing forces. It is just too little, too late. If the publicized might of the “invincible” Prabhakaran could have stopped the forces from coming closer to the gates of the Tigers in Killinochchi it would have done so long time ago. In fact, if they had that capacity there would have been no necessity to construct mud walls to stop the forces. They would have done so with manpower and firepower. It is because their manpower and firepower are militarily incapable of stopping the advance that they are resorting to the next best defence of constructing mud walls. As stated quite correctly by the Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka, the walls of the Tigers will not stop the advance of the Security Forces.

The Tamils in the diaspora and pro-Tiger agents like Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu were hoping against hope that Prabhakaran would pull out his hidden weapon at the last minute and turn the tide. Their inflated hopes have come down like a lead balloon now that they realize that the last weapon up his sleeve is a mud wall. This whole exercise is like building castles in the sand. In military and strategic terms it is futile exercise. At least, it would have served the purpose of obstructing of the Security Forces if the battles were in the phase where there were no air strikes. In the current phase where the Sri Lankan Air Force dominates the sky the Tiger cadres sent to defend these mud walls are all sitting ducks. This is a primitive tactic designed to combat modern air force. To change the metaphor, the Tamil cadres are exposed like rabbits to a sharp-eyed eagle swooping down on them.

It is also a desperate move of Prabhakaran who has lost the best of his military leaders, cadres and ideas to fight the superior forces of Sri Lanka. He is now attempting desperately to find shelter behind mud walls. The Jaffna Tamils traditionally built walls out of thatched coconut fronds to keep the “other” out. Velupillai Prabhakaran “the latest Pol Pot of Asia”, can go only as far as building mud walls. Both are crumbling.

Now that the military options available to Prabhakaran are reduced to hiding behind mud walls he is turning desperately to Tamil Nadu which is as confused as Prabhakaran. Conflicting voices are raised for and against Prabhakaran. He is banking on Tamil Nadu to rescue him from the humiliating defeat facing him. In his more pompous days he was self-reliant to a great extent. He told his guards to kill him if he fails to get his Eelam. Now that the chances of Eelam have receded more than ever he is left to clutching at straws in Tamil Nadu. He is pressuring Tamil Nadu to manipulate Delhi. But he has exhausted all his goodwill with India and India too has nothing to gain by saving Prabhakaran.

Though the proxy-MPs in the TNA are peddling the myth that there should Indian intervention to save the Tamils in reality any intervention would be to save Prabhakaran. Neither India nor any other member of the international community is willing to accept the unsustainable argument that Prabhakaran = the Tamil people. He has killed more Tamils than all the other forces put together in pursuit of his Eelamist mirage. So far he has got away with constructing graveyards for those who were misled by Tamil myths. His theoretical patrons like Michael Roberts continue to sing hosannas to his cult of death. The other night in Melbourne Roberts was glorifying the empty acres of graveyards constructed by Prabhakaran.

Robert’s fellow-traveller in Colombo, Kumar David, however, seems to have given up hope of Prabhakaran ever leading the Tamils to their Never-never-land. David, the unrepentant Marxist dude, is now hoping that the Tamil capitalists and bourgeoisie in the diaspora will fuel the fires of fascist “Prabhakaranism” for his racist revolution to create another Tamil gulag, after the Tigers withdraw from Killinochchi. Sri Lanka, of course, has never been short of mentally mixed-up Marxists who despite their brilliance drove themselves and their hapless followers into the last resting place to bury not only their bones but their ghoulish theories as well. In a sense, it is good to have the likes of Roberts and Davids pirouetting in the theoretical fringes. After all Sri Lankan life would not be the same without a few nuts hanging around you!

Kumar David’s concoction of the Tamil capitalists keeping his racist revolution burning is as valid as his theory that the current credit meltdown has confirmed the death of capitalism. Better theoreticians than David have predicted the demise of capitalism. Contrary, to their predictions it was socialism that was throttled by its own umbilical cords while capitalism keeps marching on like Johnny Walker. It must be noted that David is not the only one who is keen on keeping Prabhakaran/ “Prabhakaranism” going. There is also a cynical Sinhala school of opinion which argues that the government must halt the march against Prabhakaran because the best way of ending the crisis is by giving him a free hand to liquidate all Tamils. At this stage Prabhakaran cannot guarantee any political gains whatsoever. He lost his chances in throwing away the Ceasefire Agreement. The only thing he can guarantee is the decimation of the Tamil people.

He is now fighting with his back to the wall and the only way he can keep his back to the wall is by throwing more and more untrained, teenage children in front of him to face the bullets coming at him. Throwing a human shield against bullets aimed at him cannot ensure victory. However, in throwing human bodies against the bullets of the Security Force Prabhakaran is playing into the hands of the Army because the declared military objective of the Army is also to reduce the Tiger cadres more than capturing land, which is incidental. The provisional census figures indicate that the northern Tamils have dropped from being the second biggest minority to the third, below that of the Muslims. At the rate that Prabhakaran is sacrificing his people how many Tamils will be left to carry on David’s racist revolution in the years to come?

Besides, those left behind would prefer to join the Tamil diaspora any day rather than dying in the hell holes created by Prabhakaran. Practically every one of them would prefer to be placard-carrying, whiskey-guzzling Tamil patriots abroad rather than facing the bullets of the Security Force to prop up David’s dying Stalinist gulag, or what is remaining of it in Killinochci. What is more, those abroad too are thinking twice about bank-rolling a loser like Prabhakaran. Money kept rolling in as long as Prabhakaran was scoring points. But when the diasporic money was going down to the bottom of the sea the pragmatic Tamils began to ask what returns they were getting for their investments. They are also inhibited by the crack down on the agents of Prabhakaran collecting money abroad.

David’s theory of the Tamil diaspora being the everlasting engine of his racist revolution is fatally flawed. The most compelling argument against this theory is that it is not their money that will prevail in the end but two other basic factors: 1) the violent methodologies of racist revolutionaries leading to war crimes and crimes against humanity – all which has already put David’s racist revolutionaries in the dog house internationally and (2) the willingness of the international community (including India) to accept the legitimacy of violence to divide Sri Lanka not into the Marxist utopia but into a racist dystopia.

More importantly, once the ground situation changes the dynamics of the crisis also changes with it. The disapora was buoyed by the victories on the ground in Sri Lanka. Now it’s a different ball game. Earlier, they could argue that they had territory, a de-facto state including an army, navy, police and an air force (even though they were flying biscuit tins). Now they have only a rag-tag ground force which can, at worst, launch deadly sporadic suicide missions which are counter-productive. These missions are not going to win the approval of the international community. At the end of the day they have to win the consent of the international community which is primarily concerned about terrorism being used as a weapon to win political objectives. And the more the Security Forces drive them into the wilderness the more will the Tigers be driven to terrorism. So how are David’s racist revolutionaries going to win? And the more the Security Forces win territory the more will the Tigers be forced to target Tamil centres of population which in turn will lead to the de-population of the Tamils.

It must also be noted that whatever the Tamil capitalists and the bourgeoisie does abroad the action will have to take place on the ground in Sri Lanka. When David states that the diaspora will keep the fires of his racist revolution burning he means that they will finance the violence of the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Which means he wants the violence to go on irrespective of its devastating and dehumanizing consequences to the Tamil people. Of course, the Tamil diaspora will also propagate their politics (like the way David does) to justify Tamil violence and raise issues of human rights when the Government of Sri Lanka takes preventive or retaliatory measures. David like the Tamils in diaspora will argue that the Tamil violence is legitimate and the violence of the democratically elected state to maintain peace and stability for all communities contravenes international humanitarian law. In short, in the guise of “Tamil nationalism” David is lusting for violence which he hopes will be financed by the Tamil diaspora. As stated earlier, the upshot of all this will be the slow disappearance of the Tamils in Sri Lanka with no one to even dream of Eelam. That is the long and the short of David’s theoretical dreams.

Obviously, David is lost (like all failed Marxist) and given up the unattainable socialist heaven made up of the ideals of universal brotherhood of the working class. Like all failed Marxist they have taken refuge in the equally unattainable mono-ethnic enclave consisting of jaundiced Jaffna jingoists who refuse to co-exist in a multi-ethnic community, except on bogus claims of Tamil exceptionalism. David, with his grasp of Marxist dynamics, should know that the consequences of his theories can only lead to more death and destruction, mostly among the Tamil people. His commitment to Jaffna jingoism is no different to his malfeasant Marxism which died prematurely, carrying into the grave millions of Russian workers, peasants and other civilians in proxy wars in less developed countries.

Ideology wrapped round various “isms” was the curse of the last century. What right has David to drag the Tamil people, who were burdened with an unfair share of “Prabhakaranism”, deeper into the apocalyptic pits with his revised version of Jaffna jingoism?

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

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