By S. V. Kirubaharan, Paris
First of all let me congratulate India’s 16th Prime Minister, Narendra Damodardas Modi and the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa Jayaram for their parties’ landslide victories in last month’s election. This has given a strong mandate for many matters, including India’s commitment to the Indo- Lanka accord.
I wrote an “Open Letter to Indian Decision Makers in January 2013”. Whoever would like to read this article can find it through Google search.
In this letter I clearly mentioned that, “I am one of thousands who, whatever their personal circumstances, believe, that only India can save the Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka. Also India has a legal obligation”.
As I mentioned in a few recent articles, both parties (Indian Congress and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam – LTTE) took revenge on each other and Sri Lanka undoubtedly benefited. Enough is enough!
I said in another article that, “India (Congress) was very keen in taking revenge without realising the consequences and now India has lost the region to third and fourth parties.”
The Indo-Lanka accord was signed on 29 July 1987, between the President of Sri Lanka and the Prime Minister of India. In fact, it would have created a wonderful opportunity for the Tamils in the island, to live with dignity. Look at the Scottish in the UK! Their golden opportunity emerged only in the late 90s. In another three months, they will be voting in a referendum on having their own State. Whereas the Tamils have lost thousands of loved ones, fertile land, and sea, generally the whole economy of the community – utterly ruined within the last six decades.
Day to day blunders, mistakes and lack of diplomacy have prevented Tamils from obtaining any positive path to live in peace. Day by day – more land, people and the economy are being lost.
Sri Lankan governments smartly manipulate Tamils, who deserve the award of “Oscar”. These stooges are well rooted in the Tamil community. They sabotage possibilities, whenever there is a green light for a good future. This has eventually brought us to today’s pathetic situation.
In my last article, I disclosed how the present Rajapaksa’s government has trained a Tamil man who was vibrantly justifying the right to self-determination of the Tamils. At the same time, he was against the American resolution and associating with a Tamil political party which split from the Tamil National Alliance – TNA. This gentleman was especially hired by Rajapaksa’s regime to keep the Tamils in the North and East living in a myth rather than reality. He and his companions were telling Tamils that the birth of Tamil Eelam is possible and the armed struggle will be starting soon. In fact, this was spread among Tamils who were devastated by the defeat in May 2009.
When I visited Sri Lanka in 2003, I thought that the Tamil independent state in the island of Sri Lanka was just a few months or, at most, a year away. There were reasons to believe this. Now, those who want independent state for Tamils, should follow the right smart diplomatic path through a good relationship with India. Otherwise, the game will be over in another few years.
Tamil Nadu Factor
Tamil Nadu leaders are on the right path but no green light has been given by the Tamil National Alliance – TNA. This is because, so far no proper cordial discussions have taken place between them, that is to say, the TNA – Tamil parliamentarians from the North and East of Sri Lanka, and Tamil Nadu government representatives and politicians. The problem in Tamil Nadu is that, even though all are in favor of the same goal regarding the Tamils in the island, unfortunately they are also not united!
I still remember, in 1973 when the founder of the Tamil Federal Party or Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi – ITAK and later leader of Tamil United Liberation Front – TULF, late S J V Chelvanayakam visited Tamil Nadu. There was a lot of confusion between then Chief Minister M. Karunanithi and his main revival late M.G.Ramachandran. This put Mr Chelvanayagam in a dilemma.
Presently, every Tamil Nadu political leader is for a referendum on the Tamil independent state. It is the right path, but time-wise, it is putting the cart before the horse.
This demand will not have a good impact, until the displaced people have been properly settled in their land. If the referendum took place today, there are chances that it could be lost in the East.
Look at the situation in the East. The ex-LTTE cadres who are presently working with the government are pure opportunists. They neither knew nor understand politics. The only politics that they know is that “Paani (Jaffna man) is going to dominate us”. If the LTTE had thought of creating a Tamil independent state only for the North, it would have happened long before the Indo-Lanka accord was signed.
Tamils cannot be fools forever. Presently there is no world order supporting new territories and independent states. Since the ‘end’ of the war in May 2009, every resolution passed on Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council, has spoken about the 13th amendment.
This would certainly enable Tamils to live with dignity in their homeland. So, why such reluctance? Who is going to secure a better political solution, at the current time, than the 13th Amendment?
Has anyone promised the Tamils that we will get an independent state? Or are we united enough to reach this goal?
In 1977, Tamil unity within diversity led to an overwhelming majority voting for a separate state. When this democratic mandate was neither respected nor fulfilled, but treated with hostility and contempt – as a last resort, the fire power of the Tamils gradually grew, eventually becoming superior to that of the government forces. But today the government forces are in every nook and corner of the Tamil land. Also presently there is so much time wasted on egoism among the Tamils.
People like the so-called President of the Civil Society in Jaffna, are using highly sophisticated methods to sabotage Tamil aspirations. This is achieved through mean people who divided the TNA. As a result of this saga, where are the Tamils in the island going to end up? (Photo N° 1)
Renaissance of the LTTE
In the last 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council – HRC, when the 1st draft of the US resolution openly mentioned “demilitarization” in the North, the well planned drama of ‘renaissance of the LTTE’ was staged by the Rajapaksa government. Even though the international community could read the true situation “between the lines”, here we have clear evidence of the Sri Lankan government’s steadiness and readiness to counter circumstances wherever even the slightest positive changes for Tamils are being sought.
If the Tamils are wise enough, this is the best opportunity for us to whole-heartedly demand, that Mr Narendra Modi and Ms Jayalalitha implement the 13th amendment without any further ado.
The Mahavamsa, a religious text written in Pali language about Theravada Buddhism, covers the early history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The first printed edition and English translation of the Mahavamsa was published in 1837. It consists of a political message, rather than a treatise on Theravada Buddhism. Obviously it gives mileage to the majority Sinhalese fueling their claim that Sri Lanka is exclusively a Sinhala Buddhist state.
Therefore, none of the Sri Lankan political leaders are going to grant any political rights to the Tamils in the island. The Singhalese who do want to give equal rights to the Tamils are a minority community and are not popular among the people in Sri Lanka.
If we are concerned about the future generation of Tamils, not even a minute should be wasted. Tamil land, people and resources must be saved, by following a smart diplomatic path through a good relationship with India.
Indian leaders should keep in their mind that the 13th amendment or “Beyond 13 amendment” will not be easily implemented anymore, without the arrival of the Indian Peace Keeping Forces – IPKF in Sri Lanka. If you can’t do it now, you will never do it in your life-time.
Look at Ukraine. Has Russia signed any accord in the past with Ukraine for sending its forces to safeguard Russians in Ukraine? This can be discussed in depth!
Mahinda Rajapaksa’s ‘Beyond 13 amendment’ is a tactical statement. If he is really for it, why does he allow his party members, cabinet ministers, all extreme political parties in the South to talk against the 13th amendment?
I will not disagree that the people in the North and East have very bad memories of the IPKF in the past. I was one of the victims of the IPKF. That time the situation was different. Tamils had much choice and space.
Anyhow, Rajapaksa should not put himself in the future position of having to demand Tamil stooges in the North and East to rally against an impending arrival of the IPKF.
Now the Tamil’s choice is very limited! Either Tamils have to agree with Rajapaksa’s government ethnic cleansing or to leave the island and practice Tamil language, culture, tradition as globe-trotters, like the Roma people.
Those who receive training and a lump sum from Rajapaksas will not be in the least bit bothered about these potentially calamitous situations.
If India delays this move, in a few months, Rajapakasa is going to say that his government doesn’t have a two third majority in the parliament to implement the 13th amendment. Two coalition partners of Rajapaksa’s government are manipulated already to suit this situation. Then the UNP will also find some lame excuses for not supporting this move.
Therefore, if Modi seriously thinks of peace in Sri Lanka, which India was committed to 27 years ago, implementation must start at the earliest.
The majority of the diaspora Tamils talk politics while they have meals 3 times a day, wearing good woolen jackets for winter and sunglasses and shorts in the summer. These diaspora persons can’t understand the daily suffering of the people who live under a tyrant army.
The Tamil political terminologies used before Mullivaigzhal – namely: Tamil Eelam, Tamil homeland, Tamil hereditary land, Tamils in the North East, Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka etc, are gradually disappearing today, and Northern provincial council and Jaffna peninsula are the ones popularly in use. This is the outcome of the Tamils’ 6 decades of political achievements!
In France, some elderly pensioners demonstrate every Wednesday in the Paris parliament square; the same style of action is taking place in Trafalgar square and Downing Street at irregular intervals in London. The same may be taking place in Canada, USA and Australia.
However, whilst welcoming and appreciating these actions, the so-called diaspora leaders are hijacking these initiatives for their own name and fame, misleading the international community. This is not going to settle the Tamil’s long-standing bloody conflict. They are just show games by some sections of the diaspora, feeding more energy to Rajapaksa’s agenda.
If the Tamil Independent State is viable at this moment, let someone come forward and explain to the masses – how, where and when?
Let all concerned not miss the latest golden opportunity. Join together and urge Jayalalitha and Modi to implement the 13thamendment at the earliest. If not – in a few years, the Tamils will face an even worse tragedy than that experienced in Mullivaighzhal in May 2009.
Mullivaighzhal was predicted by many, especially by the international community. Now the same is being predicted for the Tamils’ future.
In the past, many articles have been written in various languages by researchers, academics and scholars on the positive approach of the LTTE, regarding the 13th amendment. There is no need for me to repeat the same here.
S. V. Kirubaharan
11 June 2014