Jayalalithaa’s long drawn out corruption case ended with a seemingly unexpected but heartening verdict for her. As the expected did not happen, her political enemies have ganged up in a rare unity demanding appeal to dethrone her. The anti-Jaya parties are pretty well aware of her massive popularity in Tamil Nadu. Jayalalithaa’s bold and charismatic leadership, which are all, lacking among the leaders of opposition parties. DMK Chief Karunanidhi who is a tainted corrupt leader is sitting with a wealth of hundreds of crores. Besides his newphes Marans are also facing charges of corruption along with DMK chief’s wife and his daughter Kanimoli.
There is no doubt that Tamil Nadu needs Jayalalithaa for the sake of its people. Above all Modi needs Jayalalithaa’s support in parliament to ensure his survival. In Raja Saba, Modi desperately needs Jayalalithaa’s member’s votes to pass any legislation introduced by him in the house. Already the president Muharjee has warned Modi not to resort to the emergency provision to pass a legislation, but advised him to get it passed by both the houses. Modi’s quick congratulatory messages on her birthday and acquittal demonstrate the depth of his need for Jayalalithaa to ensure his government’s survival.
As far as Tamil Nadu is concerned, she has passed many popular bills focusing on the poor and low-income population. She appears to have learnt the pitfalls of political power resulting from the abuse of position. Besides, she is a bold leader who does not fear the centre or anyone else in taking whatever steps necessary at the opportune time. For instance, she boycotted Modi’s swearing in ceremony due to the presence of genocidal Mahinda, which step only Jayalalithaa can take in Tamil Nadu as chief Minister.
As for the Eelam Tamils are concerned, she has neither wavered nor gone into a shell to express her solidarity with the Tamils after the genocidal war in 2009. DMK Chief Karunanidhi deliberately blacked out the media during the war and never expressed his condemnation while the massacres were in full swing. Karunaidhi’s priority during those horrible days was his daughter, Kanimoli and how to secure a cabinet post for her from Sonia Ghandi. Karunaidhi’s three-hour Satyagraha drama, after a hearty idli breakfast, can only be excelled by an Oscar winning actor. Though better late than never, Jayalalithaa passed legislations in the Tamil Nadu state legislature demanding an independent international investigation and a referendum involving all the Tamils living in Sri Lanka and outside Sri Lanka to express their opinion as to self-rule or separation.
As far as the TNA is concerned, TNA is plodding and wandering, while aimlessly drifting like a rudderless boat confusing themselves and the Tamils. Sampanthan’s conciliatory actions like hoisting the Sinhala flag, enjoying the independence day celebrations, acceptiong the insults hurled at Wigneswaran by Ranil have so far not produced any tangible and forward steps for the Tamils from Maithiri’s government. Undoubtedly, Chelva would have turned in his grave for the above weak-kneed bending steps of Sampanthan. TNA also missed the opportunity to press John Kerry strongly for a solution based on self-rule rejecting the 13th amendment. It was reported in local media that when Suresh Premachandran raised this matter, Sampanthan instantly silenced his mouth in fornt of John Kerry. One outcome of John Kerry’s visit is that USA has dropped the demand for an international investigation and has agreed to Maithiri’s internal investigation with assistance from outside officials UN or otherwise. John Kerry has instead put the ball in TNA’s court to convince the Maithiri government for the solution of Tamils’ problems. The result is Maithiri and Ranil succeeded diplomatically while TNA returned home empty and deflated.
With general elections looming ahead, Tamils and TNA will be back to square one. With Sinhala parties fighting to capture power, the Tamils and their problems will be put in cold storage. As there is not other strong alternative force for TNA in the North and East, TNA will remain confident in securing victory in the elections.
However, Tamils are weill informed and should voice their opposition to TNA’s timid and callous approach with the Sri Lankan government. A scorned woman and a wounded tiger will never meekly submit and surrender to their tormentors, but they will only fight back with more courage and determination. TNA is now left with one of the two options, as Nelson Mandela put it, “Either fight to achieve your rights or submit to be ruled with subjugation”. We hope sanity will prevail to save the abandoned Tamils and restore their pride and dignity. Having failed to maximize the opportunity arising from the 19th amendment to include provisions for settlement, TNA should now reach out to solicit the support of internations community and not confining to localized empty politics and heaping trust on Sinhala leaders. David Cameron, a strong supporter of Tamils is back in power and also Jayalalithaa who is now acquitted in the corruption case. Jayalalithaa’s resolutions in the state assembly remain ignored by Modi and time is opportune for the Tamils and TNA to express other solidarity with Jayalalithaa. Like Sritharan, a TNA M.P. who welcomed her acquittal, holds the leverage with Modi, and so Jayalalitha holds the key to press Modi to engage Sri Lanka for a dignified settlement. Undoubtedly Jayalalithaa stands taller than the other Tamil Nadu political leaders for her courage, will power, and determination. It is high time TNA endorses her steps and extend support to her moves, rather than waiting for opportunites to come instead of creating and using opportunities to redeem the lost status of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
The government of Maithiri’s recent move to return the 800 acres of land in Sampoor to their owners is another positive step which was achieved due to the relentless and continuing protests, agitations, and demonstrations staged by the Sampoor people and TNA should take notice of this success achieved to popular rising and the saner step for TNA is to resort to mass and popular agitations to obtain justice for the Tamils and not to claim credit for this success which squarely belongs to the Sampoor people only. Sampanthan in an interview with Canadian media when asked to comment on the 1985 Kumudhini massacre of innocents by Sri Lankan navy, he was laboring to justify it by hinting that Tamil groups have been also accused of these violations such is the depth of his love for Maithiri’s government and Sampanthan is weel aware of the face that Kumudhini massacre was one of the 156 massacres carried ouy by Sri Lankan security forces from 1952 to 2009, and in 1985 or before Tamil groupls never indulged in any massacres except targeting the security personnel.
*M.K. Eelvaventhan – Former Member of Parliament Sri Lanka – Member of Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam Representing Canada