Gotabaya’s 19 May speech, outcome of defeatism, irresponsibility, say Colombo-based Tamils

[TamilNet, Saturday, 23 May 2020, 18:34 GMT]
The political struggle of the Tamil people in the North-East was waged independent of the external powers, and it continues to remain so as the people who braved the military restrictions demonstrated it on 18 May. It is Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who is talking from the political backyard sustained by the external powers, notably the powers at loggerheads, the US and China. His speech on 19 May was a defeatist response to the political resolve demonstrated by the Tamils on the previous day, commented veteran human rights activist and Colombo-based Tamil Catholic priest Fr M. Sakthivel. In the meantime, Colombo-based Tamil politician Mano Ganesan questioned whether Mr Rajapaksa was transforming the SL State into a rogue state as Myanmar, North Korea and what Zimbabwe. He characterised Rajapaksa’s threat to withdraw from global bodies as an irresponsible stance.

The unitary state system in the island is a genocidal one. Describing it only as a rogue state is a misplaced characterisation as far as the Eezham Tamils were concerned, political activists in Jaffna commented.

Fr Sakthivel said that the international community of establishments, be it the West, India or China, all abetted the Sri Lankan state, which was carrying out the genocidal war against the Tamil struggle.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who led the war against the Tamils, was still a US citizen when he was elected the president, he observed.

The narrations provided by Fr Sathivel and Mr Mano Ganesan, both said the international community was fully backing the war against the Tamils.

However, the politician from Colombo was adopting a West-centric pro-establishment interpretation while the priest hailing from the up-country was echoing the perspectives of the struggle-centric sections of the Tamil homeland.

The international community was not punishing the whole SL military establishment. It was only acting against individuals who had committed crimes in their military capacity. Such prosecutions have also taken place under the SL judiciary although former SL President Maithiripala Sirisena and the incumbent president have released the indicted soldiers, Mano Ganesan noted.

The IC was also acting against the Tigers, Mano Ganesan said. The SL State was able to conclude the war through military means due to the stance adopted by the IC, he underlined.

Therefore, Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s response was irresponsible, he said. The SL President cannot shut down the human rights doors and windows of the international community towards the country.

Ganesan urged Mr Gotabaya to “win the hearts and minds” of the Tamil people in the North-East.

Fr Sakthivel called Gotabaya’s 19 May event a ‘defeat ceremony’.

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