Feature Article

Eezham Tamil and Muslim solidarity non-negotiable in true spirit of Mu'l'livaaykkaal

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 19 May 2020, 07:42 GMT]
“The viability of the collective political goal of Tamil Eelam is the most sublime truth about Mullivaikkal. This goal of justice and freedom cannot be changed for anyone’s comfort and convenience. Nor can it be changed by New Delhi, London or Washington. It should not be changed by the imperial agendas that are designed to divide the Tamil speaking Muslims and Eelam Tamils,” observes Professor Jude Lal Fernando of Trinity College, Dublin, in his May 18 Remembrance article to TamilNet on Wednesday. “Mullivaikkal tells Eelam Tamils that they are a people who had and who have demonstrated the highest possible moral courage in resisting subjugation. Nanthikkadal lagoon connects all of us to the sea of political wisdom of numerous struggles of oppressed peoples on earth that declares no one will give us freedom, but that we have to struggle for it and gain it ourselves,” he writes further.

“The US uses this unitary state to expand its power in the Indian Ocean region in encircling China with the aid of India. The war against the Eelam Tamils was a pre-meditated, well-coordinated and was a systematic plan to destroy the Eelam Tamil nation, homeland and state. China supported the same war as part of expanding its economic empire. The military empire of the US/UK axis with its plans to secure the Trincomalee harbour – the most decisive power in dismantling the Tamil Eelam state - and the economic empire of China co-exist in Sri Lanka by strengthening the genocidal state at the expense of Eelam Tamil people and their homeland,” Jude Lal observers.

“Those who died were massacred in such large numbers with the aim of destroying the Tamil people as a distinct nation and sundering their relationship with their land in the north and east of the island of Lanka and with their national leadership. In short, the war against the Tamils was intended to destroy them as a nation. Therefore, the massacre of the Tamils is nothing short of genocide. In the aftermath of the mass massacre, intense psychological warfare is being waged against Tamil activists with the aim of forcing them to give up their national goals, even to give up the name Tamil Eelam and its symbols. In this sense, the genocide continues: it is not over.”

Full text of Professor Jude Lal's article follows:

Mullivaikkal, the spirit of freedom - Jude Lal Fernando
2020

A Moment of Total Abandonement
Professor Jude Lal
Professor Jude Lal
Mullivaikkal evokes a deep pain of loss. This sorrow is too deep to put into words. The loss of lives at this place is the heaviest in the Eelam Tamil history. The Eelam Tamils were totally alienated by the world’s most powerful states as if they were not part of humanity. Even those so-called progressive governments in the world isolated the Eelam Tamil people at the Nanthikkadal lagoon. They all backed the Sinhala supremacist state. From the right to the left in world politics joined hands in different ways to see definitively the end of the Tamil Eelam state. Even those countries which backed the 2002 peace process retreated under pressure from the most imperial powers on earth. There was no one to come to the aid of the people; no power on earth. Mullivaikkal was a place of total abandonment.

A Moment of Indestructible Resistance
Is that all we have to say about Mullivaikkal? Alienated by the world’s most imperial powers and constantly attacked by the Sinhala state’s maximum fire power – given to them by the same imperial powers - starved for weeks and months, bled for days and days, and deprived of medicine people had no matching arsenal to fight back. But they had one thing with them to resist and flight back. That was their own lives filled with the spirit of freedom. They resisted to the fullest without giving up the hope of freedom believing that the end of life is not death, but freedom. Death is preferable to domination. They hoped against all hopes only with their lives, nothing else left. Therefore, life when filled with the spirit of freedom is greater than death. It is an indestructible life that goes beyond death.

Not the End of the Struggle…
Therefore, Mullivaikkal not only evokes a deep pain of loss, alienation and isolation. It awakens us to our inner most indestructible power to resist. It is not a place that marks an end of a struggle, but a sign and symbol of affirmation of the historical struggle for a homeland. Mullivaikkal tells us that Tamil Eelam is not only possible, but also necessary for freedom. At the same time, it tells us that the collective aspiration for freedom is indestructible despite such massive loss of lives orchestrated by the world’s most powerful states that aided the Sinhala supremacist state.

Mullivaikkal tells us that even when they were threatened with total annihilation with unbearable firepower the Eelam Tamil people could not be fully forced into subjugation. Therefore, it is not a place that marks Eelam Tamil people’s weakness, defeat or loss as Sinhala supremacist forces memorialise it. It is a place that reinvigorates the amazing and awesome human spirit, courage and the will to freedom of the Eelam Tamil people.

Mullivaikkal is a statement that the Eelam Tamil people make to the world that they did not give up their will to freedom even faced with death. A people who are determined to win their collective freedom as a nation cannot be conquered even by such mass murder aided by the world’s most powerful states and their allies.

If that will to freedom could not be taken away by death it will never be taken away from them. That is the utmost truth about Mullivaikkal.

Brutality vs. Humanity
Therefore, at Mullivaikkal, while the Sinhala supremacist state and its armed forces celebrate their superior fire power the Eelam Tamil people celebrate their superior moral power and their unconquerable will to freedom. While the Sri Lankan forces celebrate their brutality the Eelam Tamils people celebrate their humanity. It reminds the Eelam Tamils that while the Sinhala state was utterly dependent on the imperial powers the Eelam Tamil people stood on their own asserting their human dignity against subjugation by all powers.

Blatant Lies of the Victors
The Sinhala supremacist state proudly proclaims that they won the war on their own at Mullivaikkal against every international conspiracy. No! Not at all... They did not win the war on their own.... For 30 years they could not do so. In 2002, they had to agree to a ceasefire agreement and to a peace process due to the balance of power that the Eelam Tamil national struggle had achieved. Had not Washington excluded the Eelam Tamil national leadership from key meetings in 2003, had they not denied funds to the Post-Tsunami Joint Mechanism between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE in 2005 and had not the EU banned the Eelam Tamil national leadership under pressure from the US/UK governments (2006) this balance of power could not have been altered.

Furthermore, after the groundwork of power alteration had been effected, had India not given logistical support to the Sri Lankan navy and China not sold weapons to the Sri Lankan state, the military victory would not have been materialised. It was with this international support that the flood gates of brutality were opened against the Eelam Tamil people.

Moreover, in the last phase of the war had not UK and US diplomats in Colombo supported the Sri Lankan state and not silenced the voices of the other European members of the Co-Chairs who opposed the war, the final massacre could have been stopped. Some European countries had the wish to stop it but did not have the courage to do so. Therefore, the biggest lie of the Sri Lankan state is not about the casualty figures, but to say that they won the war on their own. The biggest lie of the international community is to say that they could not do anything as the Sri Lankan state was arrogant. The power behind the Sri Lankan state was supplied by the so-called international community.

International Conspiracy against Tamil Eelam
The international conspiracy was not against the Sri Lankan state as the Sinhala supremacists claim, but against the Eelam Tamils because they demanded their right to be free as a nation, demanded their right to a homeland and their right to form a state. They not only demanded this, but they had built that state on their own. This demand was a challenge to the unitary state of Sri Lanka which the British created in consolidating the control of the Indian subcontinent. The US uses this unitary state to expand its power in the Indian Ocean region in encircling China with the aid of India. The war against the Eelam Tamils was a pre-meditated, well-coordinated and was a systematic plan to destroy the Eelam Tamil nation, homeland and state. China supported the same war as part of expanding its economic empire. The military empire of the US/UK axis with its plans to secure the Trincomalee harbour – the most decisive power in dismantling the Tamil Eelam state - and the economic empire of China co-exist in Sri Lanka by strengthening the genocidal state at the expense of Eelam Tamil people and their homeland.

Those who died were massacred in such large numbers with the aim of destroying the Tamil people as a distinct nation and sundering their relationship with their land in the north and east of the island of Lanka and with their national leadership. In short, the war against the Tamils was intended to destroy them as a nation. Therefore, the massacre of the Tamils is nothing short of genocide. In the aftermath of the mass massacre, intense psychological warfare is being waged against Tamil activists with the aim of forcing them to give up their national goals, even to give up the name Tamil Eelam and its symbols. In this sense, the genocide continues: it is not over.

The US-led UNHRC Resolutions were aimed at protecting the unitary state while individualizing human rights and totally denying the collective right of the Eelam Tamils as a distinct nation who belong to a particular homeland. These Resolutions are not a conspiracy against the sovereignity of Sri Lanka as claimed by the Sinhala supremacists. The real conspiracy is against the Eelam Tamil people. Individualization of human rights is part of destroying the collective consciounsess of the Eelam Tamil people, which is epistemicide. It is part of ongoing genocide of the Eelam Tamils.

With the Easter Sunday attacks in 2019 a new move has been launched to create a brutal alliance between the Sinhalese and Tamils to fight a ‘common enemy’, the Muslim other. It is done at the expence of the lives of the Christians who were massacred. Whoever masterminded this attack has paved the way for the Sri Lankan state to be reinitiated as a full member of the US/UK’s military empire that fights wars across the globe. In such a context, Eelam Tamil and Muslim solidarity is a non-negotiable condition to counter the Sri Lankan state and its global backers.

Sinhala Oppresed Classes?
Even the poorest of the poor Sinhalese, despite being brutally exploited and deceived by the state, aligns with it strongly and claims to be superior to the Tamil and Muslim. The Sinhala society which has embraced the unitary state and basks in the vain glory of military victory is spiritually and morally doomed. A society that has comfortably buried the memory of its own beloved sons and daughters - massacred by the same state in 1971 and in 1987-89 – not only to legitimize but also to morally justify the massacre of the Tamils in the name of the British-made unitary state has served only its colonial masters. The Sri Lankan state is nothing but nakedly a neo-colonial state. To perceive it as the greatest Sinhala Buddhist heritage is the biggest delusion (avidya). A society that does not have a troubling conscience has nothing to offer to its children in terms of moral integrity except its racial supremacy which is in total service of the imperial gods of death who have for decades devasted Afganistan, Guatemala, Palestine, Iraq, Vietnam and so on… Can the Sinhala oppressed classes come to its senses…? Let those who have ears hear and eyes see…

Mullivaikkal Continues
The war against the Tamil nation is not over, but rather it continues by other means. As the genocide continues today with the blessings of the same powers that supported the Sinhala supremacist state the people are been told to accept it in the name of post-conflict reconciliation and development. In other words, they are been continuously raped as a nation, but they are being asked to accept it on the supposed grounds that it is not realistic to offer any opposition. They are been told by the powers that be to support the Sinhala supremacist state in countering so called Islamic militancy. They are being asked to help militarise the Sri Lankan state giving up their historic struggle for freedom. At Mullivaikkal with full determination and courage Eelam Tamils proclaimed with their last breath, their NO to such moves. At the most difficult moment of the history of the struggle they by giving up their lives gave one clear message. A life without freedom, justice and equality is worthless. Either you live with dignity or you die with dignity. This is the spirit of freedom that Mullivaikkal gives to Eelam Tamil people.

The viability of the collective political goal of Tamil Eelam is the most sublime truth about Mullivaikkal. This goal of justice and freedom cannot be changed for anyone’s comfort and convenience. Nor can it be changed by New Delhi, London or Washington. It should not be changed by the imperial agendas that are designed to divide the Tamil speaking Muslims and Eelam Tamils in the Tamil homeland.

Mullivaikkal tells Eelam Tamils that they are a people who had and who have demonstrated the highest possible moral courage in resisting subjugation. Nanthikkadal lagoon connects all of us to the sea of political wisdom of numerous struggles of oppressed peoples on earth that declares no one will give us freedom, but that we have to struggle for it and gain it ourselves. That is the right to self-determination of the oppressed peoples on earth. Mullivaikkal is not a historic site of helpless victims as the world powers want portray. It is not a memorial of the past, but the sacred embodiment of a risen people from where the breath of freedom is felt by those who love freedom.

Genocidal Israel and Sri Lanka
The Zionists succeeded in building its genocidal state of Israel in 1948 through Nakba ( catastrophic expulsion of Palestinians) by displacing millions of Palestianians with the support of the same powers that backed the Sri Lankan genocidal state. Like the Israeli state wants to see Nakba as a past event the Sri Lankan state wants to erase Mullivaikkal from history and impose its own supremacist narrative of military victory on the Tamil people. Due to continous Palestinian resistance, the Zionist dream has not succeeded fully. They keep Nakba, not as a past event, but as a present moment. As Joseph Massad, a Palestinian scholar states, ‘In resisting the Nakba, the Palestinians have struck at the heart of the Zionist project that insists that the Nakba be seen as a past event. In resisting Isreal, Palestinians have forced the world to witness the Nakba as a present action; one that, contrary to Zionist wisdom, is indeed reversible… The problem for Isreal is not in believing and knowing that there is not one single place in its colonial settlmement that did not have a former Arab population, but in its realization that there is no place today in its imaginary “ Jewish State” that does not still have an Arab population who claims it’.

The Oppressed Learn from One Another
Even after such an unbearble massacre, continuous genocide and ongoing psyschological pressure the will to freedom of the Eelam Tamil people has not diminished. Even amidst COVID-19 lockdown that is used as a tool of repression, on the 11th Mullivaikkal Commemoration Day a lamp is lit in every house of an Eelam Tamil both in the Tamil homeland and the Disapora joined by many solidarity gorups across the world. Let internatinal solidarity amongst oppressed peoples increase. May they learn from each other. Let them not believe at any moment that their local tormentors and global acommplices can be their saviours. Freedom is never given, but gained through struggle for which one should take a firm stand in memory of those who gave up their lives.

Listening to My Conscience
As Martin Luther King stated: "Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right."

The truth about Mullivaikkal is what troubles my conscience all the time. I have to listen to my conscience and to no other.

* * *


Last year, on the occasion of the 10th Remembrance of Mu'l'livaykkaal Genocide, Professor Jude Lal Fernando explained the metanarrative proposing actions to overcome the challenges. The video interview follows:



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