Feature Article

Break paradigm that regards Tamils as victims to achieve equitable solution: Balakumaran in 2004

[TamilNet, Sunday, 17 May 2020, 05:18 GMT]
From the colonial British Lord Soulbury to Norwegian Peace Envoy Solheim, all external interlocutors intended to render Tamils’ demand below the point of optimal compromise. Soulbury went to the extent of humiliating the then Tamil leader GG Ponnambalam in his attempt to negate the demands of Tamils. He later regretted. Now, Solheim wants to do the same, i.e., tell Tamils to drop their arms. But, he is unable to say it face-to-face because LTTE Leader has demonstrated the balance of power for the first time in the evolutional history of Tamil leaders. However, the world powers still want to weaken the Tamil side and strengthen the SL State, said KV Balakumaran, a senior leader in the armed struggle of Tamils, back in 2004. Tamils cannot achieve anything with a “victim” mindset, he said in a lengthy consultative session to TamilNet in September 2004.

Balakumaran, as rendered by Tamil Nadu artist Oviyar Pukalenthy
Balakumaran, as rendered by Tamil Nadu artist Oviyar Pugazhenthi [Courtesy: Chamooka Neethith Thamizhth Theasam, October 2009]
Mr Balakumaran was re-reading the evolution of the Tamil struggle through the lenses of dialectical materialism, an approach introduced by Karl Marx and shaped by Mao Zedong to fit the Chinese revolution.

First, you need to change the ground-condition. Then, you need to present the narrative powerfully to advance the cause at the tables of the peace talks. Any bid to get along the attempts to water down the demand would only lead Tamils towards annihilation (a genocidal end), he warned as witnessed with the struggle of Palestinians after the peace process.

Eleven years after the end of genocidal war in 2009, Balakumaran's dialectical perspective remains a crucial lesson for Eezham Tamils, especially to be grasped in the context of post-2009 “victim-centric” narratives dominating their discourse.

The almost one-hour-long audio recording made in Tamil language is being released as two unedited clips on the occasion of the eleventh Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal Remembrance and Awakening against Tamil Genocide.

The first 9-minute clip is the concluding part of the session, and the second part, a 44-minute clip, contains a detailed historical narrative.

A summary or full transcript in English would be added to this feature at a later stage.

* * *

KV Balakumaran
KV Balakumaran [Photo courtesy: Oviyar Pugazhenthi]
K.V.Balakumaran, one of the founders and the leader of the Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students (EROS) formed in mid-1970s became a senior member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for nineteen years after the EROS joined the LTTE in 1990.

A writer, literary critic and orator, Mr Balakumaran was also one of the main political mentors in the cause of Eezham Tamils.

Mr Balakumaran sustained injuries, below his elbow, in a shell attack while visiting the displaced people at the makeshift hospital at Udaiyaar-kaddu MV school on 26 January 2009.

Balakumaran's daughter, Mahilini, who was 17-years-old at that time sustained injuries on 19 April and his wife, Inthira had to leave Vanni in an ICRC boat accompanying the wounded daughter to Pulmoaddai for medical treatment. It was the last time the family saw Balakumaran and his son Sooriyatheepan.

According to eyewitness reports, Balakumaran and his 18-year-old son, walked into SL Army controlled territory at Vadduvaakal in Mullaiththeevu on 17 May, the final day of the genocidal war in 2009.

KV Balakumaran in SLA custody
Sooriyatheepan Balakumaran and KV Balakumaran photographed under the custody of occupying SL Army on 17 May 2009
KV Balakumaran in SLA custody
Sooriyatheepan Balakumaran, KV Balakumaran and Mr Aingaran photographed under the custody of occupying SL Army on 17 May 2009

Photos of Balakumaran and Sooriyatheepan along with Mr Aingaran, the assistant of Balakumaran, being held in the custody of the occupying SL Army appeared in media months later, confirming the eyewitness reports.

Eleven years have elapsed. The fate of all three, along with thousands of others subjected to enforced disappearances at the hands of the SL military, is not known even today.

All of them, fighters and civilians alike, stood for the cause till the last inch of Vanni remained a free soil where Tamils refused to surrender their sovereignty with dignity.

Balakumaran promoted equality in all aspects of life, both in his words and deeds. The first initial in his name, "K" stands for his mother Kamalampikai followed by "V" for his father, Veluppillai.

Kamalampikai Velupillai Balakumaran, born on 15 November 1947, hailed from Thunnaalai, Karaveddi in Vadamaraadchi of the Jaffna district.

KV Balakumaran will remain as one of the finest leaders that Eezham Tamils and the de-facto state of Tamil Eelam ever had.

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