Today only the Tamil Diaspora struggles for Tamil Eelam

By Thomas Johnpulle

(April 22, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) In a strange twist of events, the Tamil Diaspora has come to the forefront of the Tamil Elam struggle. A section of the Tamil Diaspora, to be precise. In fact it is the only group that carries on the Tamil Eelam struggle now as the LTTE and Tamils in Sri Lanka have given it up. This is side-splitting! These sections of the Tamil Diaspora have no intention of living in or fighting for ‘Tamil Eelam’, yet they struggle for it in the comfort of rich western countries. Unfortunately for them, they get no support from the Tamil people living in ‘Eelam’.

What Tamils in Sri Lanka want is not Tamil Eelam, but the exact opposite. After three decades of continuous killings, violence and suppression of democracy, they had enough. They have given up on Tamil Eelam now as they realised it cost them an unbearable price which they are not ready to pay. But what bothers the Tamil Diaspora? They are unaffected by death and destruction caused by the Tamil Eelam struggle and hence they don’t have to pay a heavy price for it. If 600,000 people finance LTTE’s $300 million dollar empire, it cost each one of them a mere $500 a year which is less than the grocery bill for a month! However, it has not been easy for Tamils in Sri Lanka, where the mythical Tamil Eelam would actually come up (if at all), to sustain the Tamil Eelam struggle.

The mismatch

The Tamil Eelam dream is slipping through the gap created by this huge mismatch already. There are plenty of similar struggles worldwide but none has succeeded. The remoteness of the agitation from where the real action is has been the main reason for the failure.

Other implication of this great mismatch is the total disregard of civilian needs by the Tamil Diaspora. The Sri Lankan government has over the years spent billions of dollars for education, healthcare, local governance (GA/GS service), disaster management and infrastructure development in the North and East. Although these went unappreciated, the community benefitted immensely from it. Its true worth is felt today by the people trapped in the 20 square kilometre area controlled by the LTTE. Tamil Diaspora made no attempt for the past 26 years to help people in the area which the LTTE claims Tamil Eelam. Ironically they could amass $300 million a year for guns, bombs and missiles.

Out of the blue, they decided to help local Tamils and organised a mercy mission to Vanni with a ship supposedly carrying essentials and medical staff. Why this strange act of kindness now, for only 5% of the Sri Lankan Tamil community? Why not for the past 26 years? The intention is clear. They want the people trapped in the LTTE controlled area to remain there and suffer forever for the sake of Pirapaharan’s protection. On the other hand, those who left the ‘No Fire Zone’ will not get anything. The ‘mercy mission’ has become a racial and geographic discriminatory mission already.

Differences between Tamils in Sri Lanka and the LTTE supporting Tamil Diaspora come into prominence again when political solutions are discussed. What suits those who live in Sri Lanka is not what suits sections of the Diaspora. To make things worse, local Tamils stand no chance against the Tamil Diaspora in terms of financial strength. Resultantly, the Tamil Diaspora will bulldoze all other views in the local Tamil community and impose their view. This is something the government and democratic Tamil leaders must look out for.

Twisted views on democracy

Sections of the Tamil Diaspora that support the LTTE have twisted views about democracy. They don’t understand that only independent and sovereign countries are democracies. If rich and powerful countries start violating Sri Lanka’s sovereignty by demanding to do what they want from Sri Lanka, that is not democracy but neo-colonialism. Democracy is also about the political majority making decisions and the political minority complying with them. The race of the majority of the political majority is unimportant. The third twisted view about democracy is ridiculously insane. According to this view there is a sole representative of Tamil people. Don’t they know that in democratic societies there aren’t any sole representatives? May be they have confused democracy with the former Soviet Union.

May be the biggest twist is their strong belief on ethno-nationalism which means separate ethnic groups should live in separate nations. Their very own existence in English, French and other multicultural societies give away their hypocritical ethno-nationalist demands.

The fifth twisted view is also ridiculous. According to this view, hunger strikes and satyagrahas can bypass democratic decision making! Proving the absurdity of this belief is best left to the believers.

Demanding their ‘right’ to support terrorism for the sake of democracy is another twisted view. Many LTTE front organisations were banned and some LTTE displays also have been banned in democratic societies. LTTE supportive sections of the Diaspora find this unpalatable because their version of democracy dictates otherwise!

However, the local Tamil community in Sri Lanka don’t have the luxury of holding imaginary views about democracy. Nor can they experiment with twisted views. Therefore they show little enthusiasm on the antics of pro-LTTE sections of the Tamil Diaspora. They are definitely not going to suffer any further for the fantasies of the Diaspora.

Associated violence

The very same section of the Tamil Diaspora that supports the LTTE has engaged in various violent and criminal activities. These include credit card scams, extortion, street/gang fights, killings, causing grievous hurt, use of illegal weapons, providing material support for terrorist organisations, providing financial assistance to terrorist organisations, breaching public order, vandalism, people smuggling, desecrating cultural/national/international/religious constructions and obstructing justice. This is what the pro-LTTE section of the Diaspora has already done. What more they will do is yet to be seen.

Interestingly as Sri Lanka clamps down on Tamil Eelamists’ violence, it emerges from other parts of the world. A strenuous and combined approach needs to be taken by the countries already affected and potential victims alike to stamp out terrorism in their soil. Services of the Interpol must be sought to track down criminal elements functioning across national boarders. Interpol is no stranger to LTTE terrorism. All LTTE leaders are wanted by Interpol for horrendous crimes they have committed in the name of freedom. LTTE leaders are eying South Africa, Thailand, Malaysia, Eritrea and a host of other countries and territories to lay their eggs of evil once they could leave Sri Lanka. Their intentions are twofold; create violence in their host countries to extort whatever they can; return to Sri Lanka when a weak leader emerges.

Pressurised by the pro-LTTE Diaspora elements, some powerful countries also adopted violence as their mode of operation. They made threats to Sri Lanka, laid down unrelated conditions to approve development loans and appointed officials to coerce elected rulers of Sri Lanka. Contrary to what appears on the surface, violating or trying to violate the sovereignty of another UN member nation is a violent act. Imagine a situation where these countries tried to violate the sovereignty of Russia, China or Israel. That would be WW3. They will get away with tiny Lanka but their unthoughtful acts will make reconciliation further difficult. If development aid doesn’t come in time, war ravaged North will continue to dwell in underdevelopment which will further breed separatism and terrorism.

It is high time host countries understand the unhealthy intentions of pro-LTTE sections of the Tamil Diaspora and how local Tamils have different requirements. Failure to do so will create a big burden on host countries, not Sri Lanka. This is because the Tamil Eelam struggle is only taking place in the Tamil Diaspora today, not in Sri Lanka. Lankans have despatched their calamities elsewhere and washed their hands off.
-Sri Lanka Guardian
manuri said...

Very good one,
I read it somewhere that dispora is claiming that the people who are running for safety with their children are 'Taitors'

I mean,I do not understand this,I kept reading to see some sense in it.These people are runnig away for safety not for any politcial reason.some children had not eaten in days.

Now do these people want 13 amedment to be implemented or any fantacies of ealam,

we can all write and read about this staying away from terror but for the actually people who are truly undergoing knows the diffuculty of this fantasy state.

How come this tamil dispora be so insensitive and selfish I wonder?

jean-pierre said...

Agree whole heartely with this writer. The Tamil diaspora does NOT understand the political and economic needs of the Tamils living in Sri Lanka. Their demonstrations are a show of THEIR might to THEIR politicians.

Yogananthan B said...

Another fantastic analysis.

I have alot of respect for the writer. But sometimes I think we may be fighting a losing battle. I'm not talking about the war. I'm talking about how Sri Lanka's Tamils are influenced by pro-LTTE groups in the Diaspora. It is very difficult for Tamils to seperate themselves from the Diaspora. Most people have relatives in the Diaspora. LTTE supporting guys have hijacked the Tamil Diaspora. Sections of it as the writer says. Peace loving Tamils are silent. They don't want to get into trouble.

Vik said...

who are you to speak for the tamil people of sri lanka?

I am a tamil, and am very much aware of the opinions of my parents, brothers and sisters living in sri lanka, thankyou very much.

and they definitely do not oppose tamil eelam, this information is released through blackmail and even brute force.

Please provide evidence for your fucking ridiculous and racist claims.

There is NO excuse for the killing of over 3000 people in the last 2 days. it is purely a warcrime and you people blaming it on the LTTE are cynical racists achieving nothing.

I surely wonder why it is only the tamil people fighting against the government to save these lives and you sinhalese people are not protesting against the LTTE to save these tamil lives?????

Unknown said...

Thanks, Thomas, for the truth. The truth will prevail, and the panic-stricken ltte terror supporters abroad who are trying their desoerate best to save the terror leaders will have to face it.