Feature Article

Understanding ‘Quisling politics’ and facing it with ‘Navaratnam School of Thought’

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 04 July 2017, 23:31 GMT]
The internal and external proponents of unitary constitution of genocidal ‘Sri Lanka’ want to remove Justice C.V. Wigneswaran from the position of Chief Minister in the NPC at whatever price before selling the Singapore principle-based SL Constitution to Eezham Tamils. The proponents want to preserve the unitary character of SL State. This means preserving the genocidal character of the SL State as far as Eezham Tamils are concerned. All the previous constitutions in the island have been rejected by Tamils. Knowing the Tamil discourse of the past very well, the external powers, particularly the West, is currently promoting ‘Quisling politics’ among Tamils. It is therefore vital to grasp the synthesis of the Quisling politics and regain the strength to address it through the approach embraced by enlightened leaders of Eezham Tamils in the past.

In an interview to TamilNet this week Premachandran explained how ridiculously the unitary state system is going to be preserved through the Sinhala term Ēkīya Rājyaya (ඒකීය රාජ්‍යය) while in English and Tamil they will be using some other terms to sound as ‘united’.

However, whenever a constitutional matter is subjected to legal interpretation, as in the past, it would be the Sinhala version that would be used as the source. SL Supreme Court will determine it as unitary overriding everything else. Mr Sampanthan and Mr Sumanthiran know this very well. But, they are going to tell something else to the Tamils to sell the SL Constitution, Mr Premachandran said.

Sampanthan and Sumanthiran are the only Tamil parliamentarians in the Steering Committee for Constitutional Affairs on behalf of the TNA. Both of them are ITAK politicians.

In Sinhala, there is a different word for united in the context of union, which is Eksat (United: එක්සත් / Eksat; Unitary: ඒකීය/ Ēkīya). The SL Supreme Court could even determine the use of the term Eksat as unitary in a legal context if there is no proper explanation attached to it.

The advice to avoid the use of terms such as federal and unitary was coming from none other than the ultimate culprits themselves.

“We hope that all parties in the APRC will frame the final APRC proposals in a manner that avoids the use of divisive, emotive terms like 'federalism' and 'unitary',” was the advice of the then US Ambassador Robert Blake 10 years ago in September 2007.

The non-descript approach was finally adopted through the Singapore Principles of Quisling politics in 2013.

Last year, a series of seminars organised by Jayampathy Wickramaratne's Institute of Constitutional Studies with the support of Switzerland Embassy and attended by a Co-Director of Switzerland-based Institute of Federalism. Professor Eva Maria Belser from Switzerland was stressing that “ terminology should not be a key issue” in the constitutional process.

The target of the external players as well as the Colombo regime and the ITAK incumbency is to counter the school of thought embraced by Thanthai SJV Chelvanayakam, using the ITAK itself.

The immediate target of the Quisling politics today is silencing Justice C.V. Wigneswaran from restoring the school of thought within the TNA. That is why he is being targeted.

The TNA could be course-corrected only through restoring the correct school of thought and learning the lessons from the political discourses of the past.

* * *

The post-2009 discourse behind the hijack of TNA through ITAK:

Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK), popularly known by its English name ‘Federal Party’ for almost three decades since its formation in 1949, was closed down as a party in 1976 by none other than its co-founder Thanthai S.J.V Chelvanayakam as the projection of federal demand on behalf of Tamils had become a foregone chapter in Tamil politics.

Since then, the ‘exercise’ of engaging in proposing federal proposals that could stand the evaluation test by Tamils, has been left for Sinhala South or third parties. The focus on Tamil struggle has been to create de-facto situations based on fundamental principles that could place the Sinhala South to come up with an acceptable solution to the national question.

ITAK's rebirth in 2004 from the dustbin of history was merely an accident, born from a simple need of an election insignia.

V. Anandasangaree of the TULF was blocking the use of ‘Rising Sun’ as the symbol for the use of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in 2004. All the remaining politicians of the TULF, including R. Sampanthan, decided to use the HOUSE symbol after consultations with the LTTE in 2004. The party was not called ‘Federal Party’ anymore. It was called by its Tamil name Thamizh Arasu (Tamil State) also in English, abbreviated as ITAK, which was also the legal name on paper since its inception.

This is how the ITAK came into existence through the TNA.

The LTTE was functioning as the final authority to be consulted in the crucial matters including the fielding of candidates who were to represent the alliance, be it ITAK, ACTC, TELO or EPRLF (Suresh).

There was no technical formula on how decision-making should take place within the TNA alliance as the final consensus on crucial matters was carried out in consultation with the LTTE.

But after the genocidal annihilation of the de-facto State of Tamils in 2009, the ITAK using the HOUSE symbol as its trump card within the TNA was demanding greater share in the decision making of the TNA.

Those who confronted the hijacking sections of the ITAK hierarchy, particularly the ACTC, found themselves at a situation to depart their ways with the ITAK line of deceptive politics dominating the TNA.

Politicians without ideological commitment, who got into parliamentary politics using the seats offered by the EPRLF, such as S Shritharan from Ki’linochchi, were quickly recruited by the ITAK to leave the EPRLF and join the ranks of ITAK after being elected to the SL Parliament. Such collaboration of opportunistic politicians also weakened the balance of power within the TNA.

External players, particularly the diplomatic missions in Colombo and certain Diaspora activists playing in the hands of the external powers, steering the affairs also played a role through M.A. Sumanthiran in sustaining the incumbency within the TNA.

The ITAK, hijacked and controlled by a few after 2009 and systematically groomed by the external agenda-setters, has emerged as the Quisling outfit to engage in collaborationist politics with the occupying genocidal State and with the external agenda setters.

The ultimate motive was to counter the righteous struggle-centric Tamil politics by controlling the election manifesto of the TNA and sustaining the Quisling make-up through a groomed incumbency within the ITAK. Even the senior politicians of the ITAK were effectively side-lined by Sumanthiran incumbency. The octogenarian TNA parliamentary group leader of the TNA, R. Sampanthan, is serving the Quisling politics of Sumanthiran from a comfortable position of Opposition Leader in the SL Parliament.

ITAK is only a tool for retaining the decision-making of the TNA favourable to the external agenda setters and their engagement with the agent-State in Colombo.

Politicians like Suresh Premachandran who gravely failed to address the deviation of the ITAK hijackers already in the beginning when the ACTC was challenging the phenomena have now realised their failure and have come forward to at least convey the message openly to the public.

* * *

The School of Thought embraced by SJV Chelvanayakam

With the 1976 formation of Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) and the abandonment of federal demand as political aspiration of Eezham Tamils, Mr Chelvanayakam on his last leg of politics (1972 - 1976) evolved a new chapter, embracing the Tamil Sovereignty School of Thought or better described as Navaratnam School of Thought in the post-2009 context.

As V. Navaratnam theoreticized it in 1969 and as Chelvanayakam embraced it during the scuttling of the ITAK, forming of the TULF and the establishment of the landmark Vaddukkoaddai Resolution 7 years after parting ways with Navaratnam, the Tamil struggle was supposed to be waged from the platform uncompromising the basic principles of Tamils right to full self-determination and the distinct sovereignty of the nation of Eezham Tamils to the traditional homeland in the North-East of the island (North-East doesn't imply the current provincial borders as defined by the SL State) from 1976 onwards.

Due to Sinhala leadership's chequered history, which was full of unilateral nullification of pacts and outright reversals of agreements with the Tamil leadership and due to the continued legacy of cultural genocide that was being experienced by Tamils, it was now “sine qua non” for the Tamils to articulate their political aspiration without limiting the scope of their right to self-determination to ‘internal’ (federal) dimension alone. The ‘external’ right to self-determination and distinct sovereignty to Tamil nation's homeland could not be subjected to compromise. (In fact, Right to Self-Determination as a right cannot be universal and inalienable if it was to be limited to be ‘internal’ as such).

As far as the aspirations and demands of Tamils are concerned, the territorial integrity of their homeland could no longer be conceptually subjugated to the notion of territorial integrity of the SL State that had no Tamil mandate during its State formation (constitutions of 1948, 1972 and 1985 were democratically denounced by the Tamils) or was violating the democratic Tamil mandate of 1977.

1977 General Elections was the last ever public elections in the island in which Tamils had the democratic franchise to articulate and vote for their political aspiration. The SL State has forbidden articulation of external right to self-determination and distinct sovereignty through the 6th Amendment to its Constitution in 1983.

The Tamil politics should now be based on regaining the lost sovereignty of Tamils based on both historical and remedial claims and therefore Tamils cannot subscribe to the federal demand anymore as it violated the sine qua non requirement of the school of thought being embraced by S.J.V Chelvanayakam.

* * *

Chelvanayakam’s how-to on future Tamil position on federal proposals:

S.J.V Chelvanayakam was eloquent enough in articulating the ‘how-to’ of this play rule for when and how Eezham Tamils could accommodate towards a federal solution without compromising their political discourse.

Eezham Tamils as a nation could only be prepared to consider a federalist proposal in a situation when the Sinhala South (or an international third party) was prepared to offer it as a last resort. But, the Tamil polity should never engage in the exercise or experiment or joint exercises of drafting a federal proposal.

The Tamil approach should be focused instead on waging the struggle and creating de-facto situations for the Sinhala South to come with an acceptable proposal for a federal solution as its last resort to escape separation or isolation from global humanity.

It is vital for anyone claiming to represent Tamil aspirations and the legacy of S.J.V Chelvanayakam to grasp exactly how Thanthai Chelva in fact had conceived the future political platform of Eezham Tamils.

Any Tamil party claiming to represent what SJV Chelvanayakam, who through his long experience embraced and evolved, should realise that they cannot engage in proposals below a true confederal arrangement.

The Tamil polity should be firm in stressing the underlying principles and not engage in proposing anything less than a confederal.

Otherwise, it is the Sinhala South and its global sponsors who should bear the responsibility of presenting any lesser formulas falling within the federal arrangement. Tamils should be prepared to denounce if such proposals don’t meet their expectations of resolving their national question.

* * *

Quisling Politics: straight from the horse’s mouth:

Currently, R. Sampanthan and M.A. Sumanthiran are engaged in violating this. That is why they are being perceived as proponents of Quisling politics.

How ‘elegantly’ the duo is engaged in Quisling politics in violation of S.J.V. Chelvanayakam's roadmap is better explained by none other than M.A. Sumanthiran himself in his 11 February 2017 address at the Bar Association in Jaffna.

The hijack has been possible because the ITAK, except Mr Sampanthan and Mr Sumanthiran, consists of dumbest Tamil parliamentarians of all times in the history of the ITAK and the TULF.

Three key aspects of Quisling politics so far have been 1) advocating collaboration politics with genocidal State, 2) genocide denial and 3) scuttling of international investigations.

In fact, all the speeches and statements that have come from Sumanthiran from the times of the so-called Oslo Declaration should serve as valuable documents from the perspective of a devil’s advocate in shaping the future discourse of Navaratnam Pirapaharan School of Thought.

The following audio recording is an evidence on how Sumanthiran was acting to weaken Tamil demand for genocide investigation:

* * *

The most effective way of addressing the Quisling politics being advocated by Sumanthiran, is redefining the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) itself.

So far, the paradigm of Quisling politics openly advocated by Mr Sumanthiran has not been effectively countered by those claiming to be the adherents of Tamil nationhood and sovereignty-centred political discourse, be it political party leaders challenging the ITAK, civil society experts who often miss their target, the fellow party leaders within the TNA confronting the ITAK, political analysts or television talk-show hosts serving the corporate operated media outlets.

Sumanthiran often scoffs at his political opponents and walks free of ideological challenge.

The usual argument coming from him is that “you are telling exactly what I have been saying all these years”. His opponents, despite their hard work, have failed to present a paradigm capable of constituting a school of thought that is compatible with the evolution of Tamil struggle.

The major impediment is electoral politics in the island.

The political struggle has to be taken forward by a movement that doesn't subject itself to the restrictions of ‘territorial integrity’ or ‘sixth amendment’ or any of the aspiration- and freedom- restricting parameters of the SL Constitution.

Therefore, those who take oaths could only act as proxies or transition-setters while leaving the mainstream struggle to the peoples’ movement.

Until a real mainstream movement is established, there will be situations of experiments and transitions in addressing the Quisling politics of the ITAK. The Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF), Tamil People’s Council (TPC) and the gravity towards Justice C.V. Wigneswaran, all fall into this category.

What is most important for the transitional experiments such as the TPC is not to succumb as a spoiler itself violating the mainstream school of thought as it did with the draft proposals for a ‘federal’ constitution.

Any creation of transition or alternative should have the larger vision of safeguarding and course-correcting the TNA and not accelerating the centrifugal destruction of the body.

The thought of destroying and annihilating TNA is self-destructive and suicidal for the nation of the Eezham Tamils, especially in the political vacuum of a sole representative.

After Sampanthan, TNA will be at the risk of losing its centripetal force. Therefore, those engaged in the course-correction of the TNA should act with a vision of inclusive and unifying moral high ground with steadfast commitment and clarity on the fundamental principles as the leaders of foregone paradigms have demonstrated both in their words and deeds.

Without an in-depth understanding and commitment to the school of thought embraced by the Tamil national leaders, it would not be possible to address the course-correction.

As the coordinator of May 17 Movement, currently jailed in Tamil Nadu after organising a peaceful vigil remembrance for those who perished in Mu’l’livaaykkaal put it in an interview with TamilNet in March 2017, it is important that Tamils world over realise the danger of the rope surrounding their necks in the form of the constitutional discourse. The interview with Thirumurugan and Diaspora activist Lathan Suntharaligam addressing Quisling politics is being published with this article for the perusal of Eezham Tamils in the homeland and in the diaspora.

Certain civil society activists on the ground who showed a keen interest in countering 13th Amendment have totally failed to expose the US bandwagon which is playing the most destructive game against Eezham Tamils through the Quisling politics.

Tamil activists ending up as serving the agenda of powers and crisis managers should be identified and course-corrected by the grassroots of the nation of Eezham Tamils. And finally, those asking about lacking roadmap, also need to realize that a lot has also been already consolidated as blueprints and roadmaps.

It is now time for consolidated action.

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