Ambassador Blake and the the Politics of the Tamils of Sri Lanka

"I as a Tamil hold that the Chelvanayagam concept of the "Traditional Tamil Homelands which have been invaded by the Sinhalese" is the dangerous, false fireball that should be rejected by every sensible Sri Lankan, be he Tamil or otherwise."

by Sebastian Rasalingam

Read Full Text of an Exclusive Interview with Ambassador Blake

(November 24, Toronto, Sri Lanka Guardian) Udara Soysa, interviewing Ambassador Blake for the Sri Lanka Guardian (21 November) has given us a succinct thumb-nail picture of Blake's Bottled-medicine solution (BBMS) to Sri Lanka. Even a rapid reading of it shows that Blake is trying to kill two birds in one shot- first, to given a humane face to the aggressor politics of his master Bush, and re-state the views of the "International Community" which reflects the thinking of the Thimpu Tamils who populate the cocktail circuits in Colombo, New York and Geneva.

The Ambassador's bottled medicine

Blake's Bottled-medicine solution (BBMS) will be called BS just for brevity. When people like Blake who represent the USA of George Bush talk about Tamil rights, he is actually damaging Tamil rights. The US has no credibility and no moral pedestal to stand on. Obama's victory does not as yet give any brownie points to Blake, the Bush appointee. That is why it is important to discuss Blake's BS.

In his BS, Blake states that "America's experience in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere has taught us that terrorism cannot be defeated by military measures alone". So the Americans set up Karzai in Afghanistan and keep him propped up with a strong NATO force. In Iraq the Americans have set up a government within the Bunker of the "Green Zone" using its Iraqi collaborators. When Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR) sets up a provincial government in the East with his collaborators Karuna and Pillaiyan, and when MR grooms up Douglas Devananda for the North, aren't these steps of Rajapaksa very similar to the path followed by the Americans? Perhaps more successful and more credible? But why does Ambassador Blake fail to say so? Why does he ignore MR's political actions wich go in parallel with MR's military program?
Why does the Ambassador fail to credit Rajapaksa?

Ambassador Blake fails to give credit to MR because Blake is also the messenger of the cocktail-circuit Tamils, and he is obliged to mouth what they say in Public, to "appear that he is a balanced democrat" in the eyes of such Tamils. Ambassador Blake makes the mistake that these "Thimpu Tamils" represent the cream of the thinking of the Tamils. This misconception is buttressed by the mouthings of many Christian predates in Colombo who habour a grudge against the Sinhala Buddhists who nationalized their private schools. I too went to a Christian school as that was where Caste strictures were least hostile to some of us, in at least allowing us admission. But even then, the church fathers accepted that we had to carry around a small stool from class to class to sit on, lower in hight, to designate the lower caste. This caste domination that existed in my boyhood translated into racism and Tamil separatism, in the face of the specter of Independence much disliked by the Ponnambalam-Chelvanayagam types.
Immorality of US politics

Ambassador Blake does not ask, nor does he tell us WHY the US is in Iraq? Still looking for Sadam's nuclear bomb? Senator McCain told us of his heroism in Vietnam, but did not tell us what moral justification the US had, to be in Vietnam? In each case, a mere perceived threat to US interests, or a concocted threat was the basis of their presence in these places far away from US soil. When there was ample US intelligence to show that the 9-11 aggressors headed by Bin-Laden were Saudis, the US chose to attack Iraq. The US forces were stationed in Saudi Arabia with the agreement that those forces would be removed six months after the end of the 1st Iraq war. This did not happen, and Al Queda's actions were similar to Mr. Premadasa's moves in Sri Lanka to send back the Indian Peace keeping force. Of course, the Americans did not go back, and Al Queda acquired more and more supporters in the Arab world. President Bush made sure that most of the liberal-minded people turned their noses away from the US in moral disgust.

The ambassador of the US, a country ready to apply the military solution to any perceived or concocted threat, now gives us his BS. The US under BUSH, that Mr. Blake represents, has refused to talk with Iran, played brinkmanship with Korea, locked up people without trial and carried out torture in Guantanamo Bay, secretly sent individuals like Mahe Arara, a Canadian, and dozens of others to Syrian prisons for lethal interrogation. Unfortunately, Mr. Blake, you have no right to preach. You have to come down from your feigned moral pedestal.

Hispanics and Blacks in the USA

Mr Ambassador knows what would happen in the USA if the Hispanics who came there first were to ask for their own separate Eelam. After all California, Texas, New Mexico and so on have, along their southern regions, majoritarian Hispanic populations. They were there before the colonization of the west by the white Anglo-Saxon protestants (WASPS). Yet their language is NOT recognized. The Tamils of Sri Lanka at Independence had more rights and previlages than the Hispanics American OF TODAY. Even the under-previlaged Tea Estate workers of Indian origin have more previlages than the Hispanic immigrant workers of the USA.

The motive force of Tamil Eelamism

When the US goes to Iraq it is there as an INVADER of a foreign country, what ever be its raison d'etre. Mr Chelvanayagam, the ultra-racist leader of the Tamils declared in 1949 that the Sinhalese are invaders of the "traditional Homelands of the Tamils", and that a movement has to be launched to "drive the Sinhalese away from these Homelands". Of course, Chelvanayagam began with "non-violent Sathyagrahas", well knowing that they would lead to communal riots. The "Sinhala-only" bill and other extremist reciprocation by the Sinhala Chauvinists strengthened the hands of the Tamil Racists, polarized the youth, inflamed the country and produced the present monster - Prabhakaran. I attach a picture of Mr. Chelvanayagam posing with Sivakumaaran, the first Tamil militant to use cyanide when caught robbing a bank in 1976. And yet Chelvanayagam is hailed as a "non-violent leader" by our Thimpu Tamil leaders.
Does the Ambassador hold that the Sinhalese are invaders of the "Traditional Homelands of the Tamils", in the same way that the US are invaders of Iraq, Vietnam etc?. Mr Ambassador has to realize that the LTTE, the TNA, the TULF and the Tamil Arasu katchchi program is based on driving the Sinhalese from "Traditional Homelands", and NOT based on claims of discrimination. The claim of discrimination is the front line of the political noise but it is NOT THE UN-NEGOCITABLE ISSUE.

I as a Tamil hold that the Chelvanayagam concept of the "Traditional Tamil Homelands which have been invaded by the Sinhalese" is the dangerous, false fireball that should be rejected by every sensible Sri Lankan, be he Tamil or otherwise. The Sinhalese or the Tamils do not have to diminish one bit their ethnic and cultural feelings to admit that they are one country, one people, stuck into a land mass smaller than the New York-Boston corridor. Obama ha shown that the Blacks or the Hispanics in the US, highly discriminated groups, need not go for separation but integration within the American concept. Unlike the Tamil leadership of Sri Lanka, the Blacks of the USA have, on the whole, looked for a moral path based on integration rather than separation.

The Tamils have always had a much better deal in Sri Lanka than the Hispanics and Blacks of the USA. But the Upper-class Tamil leadership, due to their Hubris and cultural mind-set associated with upper-caste feelings, had the desire to becomes kings in their Arasu-land. So came the arming and arousing of the poor Tamil youths, lead by the Karavar Prabhakaran who usurped the hand of the Amirthalingams and Thiruchelvans. This insurrection has to be put down, just as Eisenhower sent the troops to put down the hubris-driven racist WASPS of Little Rock in the 1950s. Mr Ambassador would understand Sri Lankan politics, and Tamil politics in particular, if he realizes that the Thimpu Tamils are like the WASPS of Little Rock. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) are an immoral group similar to the neo-Fascist groups found in USA and Europe. They, by backing Prabhakaran, are as much responsible for the assassinations of Amirthalingam and other Tamil leaders, and in criminalizing Tamil society. Does Mr. Ambassador know that the TNA are NOT elected representatives of the Tamils?
Up till the late 1970s, young Tamils got an education and found jobs. Since the rise of the LTTE, funded and anointed by the Thimpu Tamils, our young children have to join the ranks of child soldiers and become cannon fodder, in pursuit of the false but inflammatoy doctrine that the Sinhalese are invaders of the "Tamil homelands". Ironically enough, many of the Eelamist Tamil expatriates are what they are today, purely because of the largess of the Sri Lankan concept that held sway till the rise of the LTTE to lock up the Tamils in the North-East.

The future

So your Excellency's BS will at least have a moral basis in January when Obama comes to power. Then you can withdraw your invader troops from various parts of the world, and send your BS to the doghouse. The less you Americans interfere in the affairs of other countries, and the more means you find to reduce your insatiable need for oil, the better it would be for you and for all of us in the world. Sri Lanka has to find a future for itself as a single united people, with NO RACIST ENCLAVES, because poor Tamils like my kith and kin do not once again want a situation where some Tamil federal leader would decide to become a little king of a little Eelam and try the same tricks that the Thimpu Tamils did. The best safeguard for this is the Obama formula of a single nation, with ethnicity, religion and language becoming non-political attributes of each of us.
- Sri Lanka Guardian