Opinion Article

'Eezham Tamils to act for themselves'

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 February 2010, 04:15 GMT]
Political, social and economic movements, firmly rooted in national aspiration and democratic in structure, but placed above pseudo electoral politics in the island and power machinations outside, are the need of the hour for Eezham Tamils in the homeland and in the diaspora. Specific tasks ahead of them range from infrastructural nation-formation to damage control of the on going ‘development’ onslaught. At least some core movements of Tamils need to keep collaboration, international crisis engineers and aid funds at arms length and hit the bullseye in alternative ways by independent and ingenious handling of the little resources of Tamils, writes Opinion Columnist Chivanadi. The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) that is meeting in London is expected to fill the vacuum Eezham Tamils face in the island and in the diaspora, he says.

Speaking at the House of Commons the British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Tuesday “I will be addressing the forthcoming London conference of the Global Tamil Forum to encourage a forward-looking, constructive approach.”

Even though one is not sure to what extent Miliband’s ideas of ‘forward-looking’ and ‘constructive’ would overlap with righteous aspirations of Eezham Tamils, he made a point in the House of Commons by prioritising “ a fully inclusive political process to address the underlying causes of the conflict” and by saying that peace can only come about through this process.

Not surprisingly, Colombo’s time-tested genocidal system didn’t fail to react to Miliband’s statement in the House of Commons Tuesday and to his address to the Global Tamil Forum Wednesday.

International community shouldn’t deceive itself and deceive Tamils on how Colombo is conspiring to address the ‘political process.’

Meanwhile, timed for Eezham Tamil diaspora efforts and Colombo’s imposed elections in the island, the International Crisis Group (ICG) came out with an extensive report naming the diaspora as 'Sri Lankan Tamil' diaspora, an imposed identity the diaspora always resents as a disgrace to it.

As though they know better about Eezham Tamils in the island more than their kith and kin in the diaspora, the ICG says the exhausted Tamils in the island are more concerned with rebuilding life than continuing struggle for an independent state and their gap with the diaspora Tamils has widened.

Tamils know well that the situation and the ‘scale of defeat’ mentioned by the ICG were deliberately brought out for the very purpose of nullifying independence by many forces in the international community with inputs from outfits such as the ICG itself.

If the ICG is honest in its assertions why doesn’t it ask for an independent referendum among Tamils in the island on this matter?

Writing on democratic initiatives of the diaspora, the ICG says as long as they don’t criticize the LTTE, most Western governments will remain sceptical of the moves of the diaspora.

First of all Tamils should know the ‘truth’ to decide whom should be criticized the most.

When asked on war crimes and whether Mahinda Rajapaksa should be indicted, the former UN spokesperson in Colombo, Gordon Weiss said, “Well I think, as is the case with war crimes, it’s a question of the chain of command and where the buck finally stopped.”

Tamils need to know who gave ideas to the LTTE and who gave confidence to Colombo for all what had been executed and where the buck of the ‘internationalised crisis’ stops. Tamils will be thankful for the ICG investigating and telling the ‘truth’ and saving them from coming out with superficial criticisms.

The diaspora is unlikely to play a useful role supporting a just and sustainable peace in Sri Lanka, until it moves on from its separatist pro-LTTE ideology, says the ICG, adding that “while Tamils have the democratic right to espouse separatism non-violently, Tamil Eelam has virtually no domestic or international backing.”

The ICG also says diaspora’s moves will only feed fear and provide excuse for Rajapaksa administration to continue with destructive anti-terrorism and emergency laws.

What are the ideological premises of the ICG when it implies a long-standing cause for independence is ‘unjust’ and the excuses of state terrorism is reasonable? How sure is the ICG that the independence move, for which it uses a biased and negative term ‘separatist,’ is only pro-LTTE, when the aspiration for total independence has been democratically demonstrated by the Eezham Tamils before the times of the LTTE as well as even today?

Eezham Tamils in the island or in the diaspora have no moral obligation to play any useful role for a united Sri Lanka or through that to be useful to the interests of any international ‘backers.’

Tamils organize politics for themselves- for their own political, economic, social and cultural emancipation. It is struggle that reforms and rejuvenates a nation. Advising people to become vegetable through defeatism may suit those who engineer international crises to resolve their own crises but a righteous struggle cannot sustain through defeatism.

If Tamils give up their struggle for independence why should they need the help of outsiders, and why should they look upon India, Japan, Western governments and ‘multilateral organisations,’ for political empowerment as advocated by ICG? They can very well join Colombo and kick all the 'vultures' out.

The ICG indirectly admits the impotency of the forces it serves, when it says in the report that any significant improvement in the political position of Tamils and other minorities in Sri Lanka can come only slowly and with difficulty.

This is what Mahinda Rajapaksa also says for the nearly two centuries old colonial and post-colonial blunder in state formation, asking the victims to wait for another few centuries, so that wiping them out will resolve the political question.

Bungling the crisis in the island, the guilty forces served by the ICG are now worried about youth uprising in their own countries. Some Sri Lankan diplomats encourage the fear, hoping action against Tamil diaspora.

“Western governments will have little choice but to engage with the dominant, pro-separatist Tamil organisations even if officials would prefer to deal only with handful of interlocutors with a record of criticizing the Tigers,” says the ICG report.

With Rajapaksa’s totalitarianism and genocidal approach to Tamils proving support from the Sinhala masses, the West may take an appeasement approach to Colombo and will try to muffle the Tamil question further, is an opinion circulating in the diaspora.

Why shouldn’t the international community make a refreshing deviation in its long failed approach to the national question in the island? Why shouldn’t it set an example through the well deserving case of Sri Lanka, by allowing international justice to take its toll on that state, long failed in formation and shows no signs of rectification?

Meanwhile, much depends on the youth generation of Eezham Tamils in the island and in the diaspora. They should never depend on others for their political empowerment and should keep outfits and ‘foundations’ created for the purpose of hijack at arms length. They don't need to show recognition to any interlocutors, who don't recognise their democratic expression.

Most of the hijack takes place through ‘funding’ and the lure of development. We don’t need those funds for any genuine political empowerment.

In the absence of protection mechanism in our hands we may not be able to stop the ‘development’ invasion or collaborators joining it with projects such as ‘tourist hotels’ that don’t serve the fundamentals of what is meant by development to us. But, without wasting our little resources in collaboration, the diaspora may have to pool the resources in concentrating on damage-controlling alternative development.

The diaspora is put to much pressure of indoctrination nowadays. From US Asst. Secretary of State to local intelligence agencies try to tell the diaspora what is taking place in the island of Sri Lanka is not genocide.

If they really lack in their perception of what is genocide one could always teach them with evidences and with citing examples of everyday experience in the island, what is Sri Lankan model of genocide – a unique one that continues unchecked for over six decades.

But in this case impunity is granted and genocide is denied just to deny the legal validity of secession.

Why blame the West when there are politicians in Tamil Nadu nodding for the genocide to take place smoothly, without anyone ‘angering’ the Sinhalese over it.


External Links:
ICG: The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora after the LTTE


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