"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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Selected Writings by Nadesan Satyendra
- நடேசன் சத்தியேந்திரா

LTTE & Fascism

28 January 1997, (from the Tamil Circle)

Fascism is an emotive epithet evoking as it does memories of Hitler and Mussolini. Nevertheless, those who suggest that the Sri Lanka government is not fascist may find the following posting on the web by the Sinhala opposition United National Party (UNP) of some interest. The UNP which is no friend of the Tamil struggle for self determination has this to say on 'PA and Governance' - and perhaps, the UNP should know:

"PA's PROMISE - 1994

PA's Election Manifesto emphasized ....... "Dear Voter, you can rest assured that once the PA wins, the life and property of not even a single citizen of this country will be subjected to any risk. For in our view these rights are sacred and inviolable under any circumstances and it is the bounded duty of the state to protect them. It is also our responsibility to protect the life and property of every citizen and to maintain law and order ."

THE ACCOMPLISHMENT - 1995-1996

Ratnapura - Sept, 1995 : Former UNP MP, Athula Attygalle was shot dead by armed political opponents.

Ududumbara - 23rd Oct, 1995 : A UNP Central Provincial Councillor was assassinated. All the accused are PA supporters.

Katunayake Airport - Nov, 1995 : PA thugs chased away all Taxi Drivers, affiliated to UNP Trade Union, from Airport premises. Drivers filed Fundamental Rights violation case. Court issued a ruling in favour of the Drivers and found Deputy Minister, J. Fernandopulle guilty of instigating the attacks.

Yanthampalawa - 17th Jan, 1996 : A UNP supporter was abducted. His body on burning types was found next morning.

Kuliyapitiya - 25th Feb, 1996 : PA thugs disrupted a public rally attended by UNP leader. A bomb was discovered at the venue.

Kalawana - 9th March, 1996 : Pannala School's Principal and his son were abducted and assaulted by supporters of Deputy Minister, P Wanniarachi, allegedly for extending support to a 17 year old girl to perform a fancy dress competition, during which the girl supposed to have imitated the Minister.

Anamaduwa - April, 1996 : UNP Mayor of Kurunegala, a former UNP Deputy Minister and 14 others were shot at and critically injured by PA thugs in the process of disrupting a UNP public rally. Mr. Dassanayake, PA MP, who led the thugs, even with 46 criminal and other chargers against him is still at large.

Colombo - 27th July, 1996 : The Editor of 'Satana' and others were taken in to custody for possessing anti-government posters. Baddegama - July, 1996 : Preparations for a UNP public meeting was violently disrupted by PA thugs, which prompted a clash between two parties. A PA supporter was killed and the local UNP organizer was promptly arrested and remanded.

Colombo 7th August, 1996 : The publisher of 'Siya Rata' was brutally assaulted.

Pannala - 14th August, 1996 : A UNP supporter was brutally killed by PA thugs for obstructing the pasting of a PA poster with the picture of a 'skull' on the wall of his house. The same thugs terrorized the entire village and pasted the same poster near UNP supporter's coffin by threatening his family members.

Matugama - 25th August, 1996 : A UNP public meeting was disrupted by an area PA MP and his thugs with the help of Police. Stones were pelted and tear gas was fired in to the meeting.

Kesbewa - August, 1996 : A UNP candidate for Co-operative Election was shot and killed by PA thugs.

Anuradhapura - 28th August 1996 : A temple ceremony connected with 50th anniversary of UNP was disrupted by gun wielding PA thugs, firing some shots in to the temple.

Negombo - 30th August 1996 : A church ceremony connected with 50th anniversary of UNP was disrupted by armed PA thugs. A UNP and a PA supporter were killed. The thugs entered church and threatened Rev. Priests and Nuns. A PA thug climbed on the Holy Cross and abused the worshippers.

Colombo - 16th September, 1996 : 'Lankadeeda Photographer' was brutally assaulted by PA thugs in the Fort Magistrate Court premises.

Negombo - 20th September, 1996 : Five UNP members were killed and several others injured in cold blood with automatic weapons by PA thugs. Among the killed was the former President of the UNP affiliated Taxi Drivers Union, who won the Fundamental Right case. Families of the deceased were threatened and told not to hold the funerals at their residences. Accordingly, a secret funeral had to be organized in Colombo for one of the deceased.

Katana - 22nd September, 1996 : A UNP Municipal Council Member, who was a member of the airport taxi Drivers Union was shot dead.

PRESIDENT'S REACTIONS

"Without tearing posters, jeering at rivals and pelting stones ........ there is no fun in doing politics." "If they carry guns, they (UNPers) have to be sliced to death." "Our people are not wimps and the people of my constituency also know that that I am not a wimp." .....

Mr. J Fernandopulle and S. B Dissanayake, two senior leaders of PA, repeatedly appeared on government TV channels and alleged that the Negombo incident of 20th September, is work of the JVP.

In the present circumstances, when democracy is under grave threat, the UNP in the public interest, will be issuing periodical updates on the Human Rights situation in Sri Lanka. "

Ofcourse when the UNP was in power, the PA was not averse to expose the UNP as fascist. But perhaps the views of Paul Sieghart, Q.C., Chairman of Justice, the British Section of the International Commission of Jurists in his report in 1984 on the 'political chicanery' of the UNP attempt to create a one party state, may be more persuasive. Commenting on President Jayawardene's infamous 6th Amendment to the Sri Lanka Constitution, he said:

"...The key to its effect is paragraph (1) which runs as follows:- 'No person shall directly or indirectly, in or outside Sri Lanka, support, espouse, promote, finance, encourage or advocate the establishment of a separate State within the territory of Sri Lanka'. "Anyone who contravenes that provision becomes liable to the imposition of civic disability for upto 7 years, the forfeiture of his movable and immovable property... the loss of his passport... the right to engage in any trade or profession. In addition if he is a Member of Parliament, he loses his seat"

"The freedom to express political opinions, to seek to persuade others of their merits, to seek to have them represented in Parliament, and thereafter seek Parliament to give effect to them, are all fundamental to democracy itself. These are precisely the freedoms which Article 25 (of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights) recognises and guarantees - and in respect of advocacy for the establishment of an independent Tamil State in Sri Lanka, those which the 6th Amendment is designed to outlaw. It therefore appears to me plain that this enactment constitutes a clear violation by Sri Lanka of its obligations in international law under the Covenant"

"...before the 6th Amendment was passed, the Tamil United Liberation Front was the largest opposition party in Parliament, and its effect has therefore been to increase the (ruling) United National Party's majority from the previous 83% to 93%.. Accordingly, the President can now hardly be surprised if his opponents, both within the country and outside, regard the 6th Amendment as nothing more than a piece of political chicanery, designed to move Sri Lanka even further towards a one party State..." (Sri Lanka - A Mounting Tragedy of Errors - Paul Sieghart - International Commission of Justice Report April 1984)

And the views expressed by Senator A.L.Missen, Chairman, Australian Parliamentary Group of Amnesty International, about 'Democracy, Sri Lanka Style' in 1986 may also hopefully persuade:

"Some 6000 Tamils have been killed altogether in the last few years...These events are not accidental. It can be seen that they are the result of a deliberate policy on the part of the Sri Lankan government...Democracy in Sri Lanka does not exist in any real sense. ....The democracy of Sri Lanka has been described in the following terms, terms which are a fair and accurate description:

'The reluctance to hold general elections, the muzzling of the opposition press, the continued reliance on extraordinary powers unknown to a free democracy, arbitrary detention without access to lawyers or relations, torture of detainees on a systematic basis, the intimidation of the judiciary by the executive, the disenfranchisement of the opposition, an executive President who holds undated letters of resignation from members of the legislature, an elected President who publicly declares his lack of care for the lives or opinion of a section of his electorate, and the continued subjugation of the Tamil people by a permanent Sinhala majority, within the confines of an unitary constitutional frame, constitute the reality of 'democracy', Sri Lankan style.'" (Senator A.L.Missen, Chairman, Australian Parliamentary Group of Amnesty International, Australian Senate Hansard, 13 March 1986)

Ofcourse, even then, some apologists for Sri Lanka chose to describe it as 'an open, working multi party democracy'!

"Sri Lanka is an open, working, multiparty democracy. Citizens elect their president, members of parliament, and local government officials by universal adult suffrage. All laws including acts extending the state of emergency, must be approved by the Parliament... The Constitution guarantees the independence of the judiciary, and lawyers and judges are held in high esteem." (U.S. State Department's Annual Human Rights Report to Congress released February 1985) "

Real politick has its own special ways of clouding vision. But that same real politick may one day persuade the US that a people's struggle against alien rule cannot be suppressed by superior material resources. Tamil Eelam is a Fourth World nation struggling to free itself from the rule of Third World Sri Lanka. The views of Bernard Q. Nietschmann, Department of Geography, University of California, Berkeley may help to open eyes.

"More than one-half of the world's 45 hot wars involve Fourth World nations against invading First, Second and Third World states (some put the numbers at 32 of 58).... The nature of conflicts has changed, yet the means to understand and resolve them have not. Most hot and cold wars since 1945 have not been state against state, but states against indigenous nations and ethnic groups that are fielding resistance forces to protect sovereignty, to gain greater autonomy, to restore national boundaries erased by colonial powers, and to end economic exploitation and political oppression. Many Fourth World nations are promoting or practicing separate rights to their own territory, not as minorities, but as distinct sovereign peoples.

Considerable international effort is directed towards controlling and containing state against state conflicts. Yet when Fourth World nations attempt to defend or regain territory and sovereignty usurped by a settler state, these conflicts are labeled "domestic" by the international community...

From the domestic perspective, indigenous combatants are seen as "rebels," terrorists," "bandits," "separatists," and "extremists." But most Fourth World nation combatants see themselves engaged in an international conflict, nation against state; and thus they may call themselves soldiers, fighters, warriors. The view of international states is that states declare war, nations declare terrorism. By treating conflicts between states and nations as but an internal matter of the state, the conflict may be masked but not understood, nor resolved."

The Tamil resistance movement seeks to oust the Sinhala army from the Tamil homeland. It is a resistance movement which rejects the territorial boundaries imposed by the old colonial ruler in 1833 and adopted by the Sinhala ruler in 1948 and imposed again in 1971. It is a resistance movement which has grown in the face of a forty year record of alien Sinhala rule and which derives its strength from its roots in the Tamil people. It is a resistance movement which has helped to break down casteism among the Tamil people.

It is a resistance movement which has supported the liberation of women from the structures of oppression that had been deeply embedded in Tamil society. It is a resistance movement which has committed itself to the creation of a secular state. It is a resistance movement which does not seek to conquer and rule the Sinhala people.

The Sri Lanka government, on the other hand, sends its army to conquer, occupy and rule the Tamil homeland and celebrates its victory by a medieval Sinhala Buddhist ceremony broadcast live on Sri Lanka TV. It is a government which glorifies in its appeal to Sinhala Buddhism and gives the Buddhist Sasana pride of place in the Constitutional package that it is promoting as a panacea. At the same time, the UNP posting in the web reveals its own sorry tale. Who then is the fascist?

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