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"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."

- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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CONTENTS
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Last updated
03/06/07

LTTE's Consistent Peace Initiatives and Sri Lanka's Consistent War Against Tamils
Journey Down Memory Lane to reach tamizh Eelam
Thai Pongal - What it means to me!, 14 January 2004
Dear Mr.Secretary...5 May 2001
Tamil Heroes Day 2000 - A Word Garland, 27 November 2000
Sri Lanka State Terrorism & Non State Tamil Eelam - February 2000
Tamil in Cyberspace, February 1999
Fallacy in some axiomatic assumptions of popular opinion

Excellence of Carnatic Music - English Translation of an Article by Kumutha

LTTE's Consistent Peace Initiatives and Sri Lanka's Consistent War Against Tamils - 10 September 2000
Dowry an anachronism, not an anthema, 1 September 2000
Sri Lanka's Tamils & The International Community, 24 July 2000
Torment of a Tamil American, 1 June 2000
Sinhala devolution no solution to Thamizh revolution, 12 September 1995
 

Tamil National Forum
TAMIL NATIONAL FORUM

Selected Writings
R.Shanmugalingam USA

LTTE's Consistent Peace Initiatives
and Sri Lanka's Consistent War Against Tamils

10 September 2000

The mistaken view - initiated by the Sri Lanka Government and now accepted by world leaders that Pirabaharan is the leader of a small band of terrorists, has driven world leaders to distraction. Sri Lanka President Chandrika Bandaranayake Kumaranatunga does not reciprocate Pirabaharan's consistent peace initiatives in the same vein. Anura Bandaranayake, Chandrika's brother, who knows her better than most has said that she is childish.

Although there is still talk of peace, the indications are that the Sri Lankan Government wants peace without the LTTE. Chandrika's on-again, off-again approach to peace in Sri Lanka overshadows her "bleeding-heart liberal" label she earned that helped her win the Presidency in 1994. "Peace with the Tamils" was the centerpiece of her election campaign that brought her a landslide 62.5 percent vote. This landslide victory using peace as an election plank was not lost on Pirabaharan. In his National Heroes Day Message on November 27, 1994, he said:

"A great political change has taken place in Sri Lanka. A new government has come to power with a new approach and a new mandate. When the Chandrika government extended its hand for peace we grasped it with friendship. We participated in talks without preconditions or imposing any constraints. As these talks began in the first stage we gave precedence to the problems faced by our people."

Chandrika is not resigned to Tamil equality with the Sinhalas and is not interested in peace but the elimination of the LTTE. Once Tamil pressure drops, it is customary for Sinhala leaders to renege on pacts and promises. She is not different from her predecessors. Devolution of power is the catchword uttered in quick succession expecting it to be the 'mantra' that will charm full-blooded Tamils to give up their freedom fervor. Tamils who have followed Sinhala deceptions in dealing with Tamil issues will be wary of any hope of power sharing with the Sinhalas. Any hope of the Tamils sharing power with the Sinhalas is a "malignant illusion." Sinhala extremists and the military top brass want peace initiatives to fail.

The international community and their Governments believed that the Sri Lankan Government under Chandrika would settle the strained ethnic conflict by amending the lopsided 1978 Constitution. Military and other forms of international help to the Sri Lankan Government emboldened the extremists to foment the war. Even the half-baked peace proposal was abandoned due to the vigorous opposition by the Sinhala extremists.

The belated proposals if implemented, will forever take away Tamil areas and annex them to Sinhala regions; appropriate Trincomalee harbor and Palaly air port for the Center (Sinhala government); police force and judiciary will continue to be controlled by a Sinhala Constitutional Council; the Governor planted by the President, and Attorney General appointed by the Governor; Stock Exchange and Corporations, Banking and Insurance controlled by the Center bureaucrats, so on and so forth, making sure that nothing of importance is left to the Tamil regional government. A Tamil Eelam government will be turned into a municipality or worse a post office transmitting Sinhala Government orders in the Tamil language! Tamils will be eventually eliminated in keeping with the cherished myth that Sri Lanka is only for Sinhala Buddhists.

The world has misread Sinhala leadership particularly Chandrika' s escalation of intolerance with her "War for peace" panacea. Chandrika has labeled all who oppose her "merciless megalomaniacs." In an interview to India Today in May 1995, she said about President Premadasa, "He was another man who needed psychiatric treatment pretty seriously." She had the opportunity to resolve the ethnic problem in the beginning of her incumbency as President. Instead she bartered her high office for her political future and her own personal safety.

Chandrika cannot make the mistake of alienating Sinhala hard-liners who reject any accommodation with the Tamils and still hold on to power and life. A lesson she learned from her father S. W. R. D. Bandaranayake.

Sinhala Buddhist Monks, the "King Makers", put Bandaranayke in the Prime Minister seat on condition that he will change his political view from "Federation as the only solution to our political problem" to the Sri Lanka WITH and BY only the Sinhala Buddhists FOR all, demagoguery. (Speech at Student Congress meeting, Jaffna/ Ceylon. Morning Leader, July 17, 1926.) He paid with his life to a Sinhala Buddhist Monk's bullet for trying to "assuage" dissidents. Chandrika also said in the same interview, "The LTTE has no more logic to carry on the war now except for the personal likes and dislikes of a handful of LTTE leaders."

Chandrika and her government are afraid to measure LTTE performance that is the outcome of very popular Tamil public support. If the Tamil Freedom War has "no logic," then Chandrika really needs a few more decades to complete her unfinished schooling. Misreading Tamil freedom fervor is "Childish" and is costly. A recent Jane's Sentinel report examines the success of the LTTE in resisting the Sri Lankan forces:

"The sudden renewed outbreak of violence in the northwestern Jaffna peninsula of Sri Lanka in September 2000 provided the Sri Lankan armed forces with another reminder of the potency of their opposition. Despite the numerical and technological superiority of the army, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) met their offensive with customary ferocity, causing hundreds of casualties and repelling wave after wave of attack."

Pirabaharan is consistent in his determination to win back lost Tamil dignity and honor keeping the door open for negotiation from a position of strength. Tamil political leaders in the past did not show gumption in dealing with Sinhala leaders of different nerves but one resolve to subdue Tamils. Pirabaharan in the eyes of the world, except for the Sri Lankan Sinhala Buddhist chauvinist's tinted glass eyes, is trustworthy once he has given his word.

" (LTTE's) 43-year old charismatic leader and military commander, Velupillai Prabhakaran (whose nom de guerre is Karikalan), is a highly disciplined, dedicated, self-taught, military genius..." (Jane's Sentinel)

    "...The myth was bigger than the man. That was in the early '80s, when I met LTTE leader Velupillai Pirabaharan for the very first time... Today, the man is bigger than the myth... In one of her interviews to me, (Sri Lanka) President Chandrika Kumaratunga had said, "even the best guerrillas must tire of fighting and war". That was five years ago. Pirabaharan is better than the best. His energy and commitment to his cause show no signs of flagging. From a hit-and-run guerrilla fighter, he has evolved into a mastermind of conventional battles, the commander of a national army that forced the world's fourth largest army to retreat and is now giving the Sri Lankan army a run for its money.

"The more wounded Pirabaharan is, the more ferocious he becomes - it's not for nothing he chose the tiger as his emblem. His stealth, timing, cunning, ambushes - all are inspired by the tiger. And like the tiger, his courage is raw and proud. Some time back, I had asked him what he had learned over two decades as a guerrilla fighter. He answered, "He who dares, wins." That was the headline given to the interview when it was published in Time. Five months later, I happened to travel in Europe and the US and was amazed to see the number of Sri Lankan Tamils wearing T-shirts with that legend. Pirabaharan has spawned a worldwide legion." (Anita Pratap reporting in Outlook on The best guerrilla of all, June 2000)

On the other hand, some Tamils who are directly or indirectly adversely affected by Pirabaharan's leadership are throwing Tamil freedom to the wolves. It is high time Tamils who hold Tamil Eelam very dear, get together and decelerate the Tamil annihilation process. Tamil Eelam is in the front burner only because of the LTTE. But war alone is not enough to free Tamils and sustain Tamil Eelam within a desirable time frame. Tamil activists can and should help to supplement the war effort to make Tamil Eelam a reality without further endangering the remaining Tamils, who should form the basis of Tamil population in a free nation state of Tamil Eelam.

How would a Chandrika-style peace with the Tamils differ from the pacts reached and reneged by her predecessors? Her charismatic leadership once employed with success on false promises will not work again. A Sinhala leadership ploy she has so passionately condemned at election times. Chandrika has always emphasized a Sinhala-Tamil peace initiative for international consumption, bitterly opposing secession. She insists on conditional dialogue with the major component to the conflict the LTTE. The LTTE or any full-blooded Tamil does not trust the Sinhala leadership to lay down arms before reaching an equitable resolution to the conflict.

How can Chandrika who cannot make peace with Sinhala opposition make peace with the Tamils who are willing to die for Tamil freedom? "Tamils are not worth five cents" she has said when she refused to accompany her late husband Vijaya Kumaratunga to negotiate peace with the LTTE, when she was a mere Mrs. Kumaratunga! Even if she decides she will not be allowed to be fair to the Tamils by her chauvinist entourage.

The success of the global financial system is yet to manifest. In the process threat of World War III is lurking behind the "politics of hate." UN sanctions regime is beginning to be challenged. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez met with Saddam Hussein despite the sanction. Indonesian President has announced his intention to visit Iraq much to the annoyance of the US State Department. A high level Russian delegation flew into Baghdad in 10 years without the expected approval for even civilian aircraft to land in Baghdad from the UN Security Council.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has launched a national mobilization to revive Russia's military might as an aftermath of the sinking of Russia's Nuclear submarine the Kursk under highly suspicious circumstances on August 12, 2000. Clash of cultures are seen as threats to the "hegemonic community of perfectly sovereign nation-state republics" envisaged by Western Supremacists. Clash of cultures may or may not bring about World War III, but it has brought Tamil survival in Sri Lanka very perilous.

Sinhala leadership cultivated close strategic ties with intra-regional powers, even with known rivals, which has also accelerated the crisis situation in Sri Lanka. Where as diaspora Tamils do not fall entirely in the category of true activists enumerated in the September 9, 2000 Reflections in Tamilnation.org:

"To be an activist you need more than an agenda and a clever campaign. You need a set of values that will set you apart from the courtiers and the wannabes."

Chandrika Kumaratunga as the Sinhalas and others see would help dispel the notion that Tamils are the troublemakers and do not want peace in Sri Lanka. Sunday Leader September 3, 2000 (Politics) in an article "Kumaratunga's fantasies" said inter alia:

"Chandrika Kumaratunga is probably by now a woman accustomed to not being taken seriously. Her tongue has a habit of running rather ahead of her brain, and her presidency has been enlivened by a series of faux pas and gaffes that would be the envy of even Joseph Estrada, widely acknowledged as the dimmest wit among Asian leaders today. "The suffering of those who live outside the gates of Temple Trees have no bearing on her, for she is unhappy to venture out for fear that Prabhakaran might be lurking in the shadows."

Sachi Sri Kantha in "An Embarassing 'Woman of Paris'" wrote:

"Now, let me analyze Chandrika, the Sri Lanka's version of 'Woman of Paris'. Since 1994, she has flaunted her Parisian adventures to Sinhalese, unsuspecting Tamils, gullible Indians and to the international audience (political leaders, financiers and journalists) as a one-and-only Paris-trained radical idealist and peace-seeker in Sri Lanka. She has been nothing but a 'gold-digger' among these circles for status....

"Unfortunately, her glib talk as an angel of peace was riddled with inconsistencies with her deeds. Thus, the first draft of history has already been written, and it is not kind to Chandrika. Kalpana Isaac, in her essay published in the academic journal, Current History (April 1996) noted, "Many Tamils want to believe President Kumaratunga's call for peace. However the discrepancies between her rhetoric and what has actually occurred during her time in office are beginning to show."

"Now four years later, even the discrepancies between what Chandrika presented to Sri Lankans about her sojourn in Paris and what in reality happened also seem glaringly deceptive... In an embarrassing expose before the Elephant Pass debacle of Sri Lankan Army, Lasantha Wickrematunga, the editor of pro-opposition Sunday Leader newspaper, revealed the deception related to Chandrika's 1967-71 sojourn in Paris. Chandrika does not have a degree in political science from the University of Paris, and what she has is a diploma in international relations from Sciences Po, which is not part of the University of Paris..."

The Sinhala leadership had lost the opportunity to ATTRACT Tamils towards them by making Tamils WANTED in Sri Lanka. Instead every Sinhala political move has made Tamils feel UNWANTED that is REPULSIVE and REPELLING to 'full-blooded'Tamils.

"Nadarajah Thangathurai, Selvarajah Yogachandran and Sri Sabaratnam were brave and honest humans whose commitment to the Tamil cause was unquestioned. But neither their memory nor the cause for which they gave their lives, will be furthered by quisling Tamil groups engaged in a sectarian search for revenge and who thereby serve not the Tamil people but who at best, may secure some crumbs from their masters table for themselves and their hangers on." (Nadesan Satyendra, 1988) 

Even Pirabaharan is human and has alienated a few in the belief that fifth columnists and potential enemies within and around Tamil freedom fighter enclaves are spies. Spies are not savored by any society. In a war situation such actions are unavoidable. It is one thing to kill in a war and another to kill civilians by thrusting a war. Anyone interested in putting a stop to such wartime commissions should help stop the war. The now famous Suthumalai Speech on August 4, 1987 is another testament to Pirabaharan's consistent peace initiatives.

    "My beloved people. We have no way other than to cooperate with this Indian endeavor. Let us offer them this opportunity. However, I do not think that as a result of this Agreement, there will be permanent solution to the problem of the Tamils. The time is not very far off when the monster of Sinhala racism will devour this Agreement. [And it did] I have unrelenting faith in the proposition that only a separate state of Tamil Eelam can offer a permanent solution to the problem of the people of Tamil Eelam. Let me make it clear to you here, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I will continue to fight for the objective of attaining Tamil Eelam. The forms of struggle may change, but the objective or goal of our struggle is not going to change. If our cause is to triumph, it is vitally necessary that the wholehearted, the totally unified support of you, our people should always be with us." (Excerpted from Mohan Ram, Sri Lanka The Fractured Island)

It is therefore the responsibility of every Tamil including the LTTE faction and the non-LTTE faction to come together if Tamil Eelam is to be realized. It was international response that channeled the brutality of East Timor to hold a referendum on autonomy. However, such a referendum is unnecessary as most Tamils are dispersed, the Sinhala army is in occupation and a mandate for the nation state of Tamil Eelam has already been obtained with the Vaddukkoddai Resolution of 1976. Furthermore, the TULF won overwhelmingly on the 1977 Tamil United Liberation Front Election Manifesto on Tamil Eelam, that reads in part:

"The Tamil Nation must take the decision to establish its sovereignty in its homeland on the basis of its right to self-determination. The only way to announce this decision to the Sinhalese government and to the world is to vote for the Tamil United Liberation Front. The Tamil speaking representative who get elected through these votes, while being members of the National State Assembly of Ceylon, will also form themselves into the "NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF TAMIL EELAM" which will draft a constitution for the State of Tamil Eelam and to establish the independence of the Tamil Eelam by bringing that constitution into operation either by peaceful means or by direct action or struggle."

In conclusion, Nadesan Satyendra's concluding paragraph to his "India & the Tamil Struggle, The Indo Sri Lanka Accord of January1988" merits attention:    

"Let us as a people stand up together in support of the Thimpu Declaration and let us strengthen the capacity of the LTTE to represent the Tamil people and give coherence and direction to the Tamil national struggle."

 
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