By Dr. Noel Nadesan
(May 28, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, deserves the congratulations of all Sir Lankan regardless of their ethnicity. More than any other community, the Sri Lankan Tamils owe him their thanks for ending their misery. As every body knows Tamils in Sri Lanka were under the delusion of Tamil Eelam. His victory should at last cure this mental illness of the Tamils. Sri Lanka has at last found the leader who can act above the pressures of communal forces that had beveled Sri Lankan politics for the last 60 years.
President Rajapaksa arrived on the political scene at a time when all the communities were sick of this war. All communities wanted an end to the futile war. He arrived at the correct time to win the backing of all peace-loving people.
His political leadership was strengthened by his brothers Basil Rajapaksa who played a key role in the political field and Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the military field. He was ably assisted by a talented military commander, Gen. Sarath Fonseka. This is the first time in last thirty years political leadership did not interfere in military matters. Nor did they use military successes to their political advantage though the advantages fell into their lap automatically. .
LTTE performed pathetically by rejecting Norway mediation, demanding parity of status with the Sri Lankan government and by sending imbeciles for the negotiation with Sri Lankan government. A look at the list of the Tamil negotiators made it clear to me that LTTE was not interested in negotiating peace. Most of them are from Australia where I live. I will not even send them even to buy a packet of cigarettes from the corner shop, let alone bargaining for Eelam. Prabakaran dream was shattered when the Eastern commander Karuna split with the Wanni leadership on genuine grievances. Predictably LTTE leadership sent a team to kill him so. He had no option but to defect to the government.
LTTE killed the Sri Lankan foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar during the ceasefire with Sri Lanka. The government maintained commendable restraint. LTTE, however, overstepped its mark when it attempted to assassinate the military commander. War was inevitable as LTTE increased tensions and violence.
In Mavil Aru and Mutur, LTTE gave legitimate reasons for the Sri Lankan government to counter-attack which ended on the beaches of the Jaffna lagoon. These are some reasons that led to Eelam War IV. But there are also deeper and intrinsically ingrained reasons for the war. It is little known that Veluppilai Prapaharan’s personality was not conducive for peace. He revealed his sadistic tendencies from a young age. As a young boy he was given to killing garden lizards and birds with his catapult. He is a school drop out who quit school at the age of 10. It was during this time that the Jaffna student agitated on the language issue and admission to university. Prabhakaran was engaged more in internal and personal power struggles even during this time killing his opponents. In 1979 April he killed his comrade-in-arms, called Suthumali Pattkunam, when he was fast asleep. By this time he was addicted to killing. The internecine warfare among Tamil militants began in the seventies. All these happed before 1983. We cannot blame the Sri Lankan government or Sinhala community for the crimes committed by Tamil militants. . Tamils were killed even for petty thefts. Early in 1982, when I was passing Columbagam and Kachcheri Road in Jaffna, I saw the body of one petty thief left to rot on the road. I was told that he was killed by Tigers and he was left there as a lesson for others. This is the first time I realized that Jaffna was breeding a fascist outfit. What most do not know is that he was born with sadism in his bones. As a young boy he was once playing marbles with another young Tamil boy. He soon found that he was losing to his friend. Angered by this he took a stick and poked in his friend’s eyes, blinding him forever. That is Prabahakaran.
That cruelty turned me off the LTTE. I also made it a point to study his tactics more closely. His cruelty was also predictable. But it is sad to note that his fascist cult attracted many intelligent people. And some of them even became victims of his fascist cult.
When I was in India helping refugees during 84-87, I had opportunity to learn more about him.I had the opportunity to listen to his order to liquidate TELO issued through the wireless set up in Chennai. I was also getting first hand information about LTTE massacring other Tamils in Kanthankarunai in Nallur. After I received the news of the massacre news, I felt sick in my stomach. I can still remember the feeling even after 22 years...
After coming to Australia I was disappointed that the Sri Lankan governments allowed it to be hoodwinked by the Tigers. My fellows Tamils too supported this “pathological serial killer” (Prof. James Jupp) in the name of Tamil Rights. .
Tragically, some Tamil writers and NGO groups built a halo around him and created the myth of Prabahakaran as a mighty warrior. He basically used expatriates’ money and Jaffna Tamils ingenuity to build a human fortress around himself, using Tamil civilians as stones for his walls.. Interesting thing is he believed in his invincibility. He had a grand ride until the Sri Lankan army commander Sarath Fonseka took him on. His determined effort to continue the war relentlessly until the Tiger outfit is crushed has paid dividends. He has liberated not only Sri Lanka but also Tamil community at last.
(Dr. Nadesan is the Editor of UTHAYAM, the Tamil community newspaper in Australia. He led the recent delegation of Tamil expatriates to open a dialogue with the Govt.of Sri Lanka)