Opinion Article

Taking stock on the first anniversary of Internationally abetted genocide

[TamilNet, Saturday, 22 May 2010, 14:07 GMT]
The Tamil struggle for independence, one of the longest running struggles of Asia, which has progressed through the Colonial phase and the World Wars, through Cold-War era and through the period of War on Terrorism and the times of economic conquest, now stands at the juncture of a paradigm shift, one-year after the end of asymmetric, but largely conventional Eezham War IV. If Eezham Tamil Nation is to advance successfully forward from where it stands, it needs to adopt its own set of paradigms, capable of not only defeating opposing maneuvers of the Sri Lankan state and the abettors from outside, but also powerful in addressing the future from a broad perspective, rising above the classical dialectic approach.

IC's perception and Tamil response
Paradigms that have been adopted by IC [left] explain the way the international system perceives the Tamil cause. The illustration on the right explains how Tamils are organising their response to the internationally abetted genocide

Tamils, members of one of the oldest nations of human civilization living in their historical homeland now divided between India and Sri Lanka, as well as living in many parts of the world as diaspora, observed with trauma the first anniversary of the genocide committed and continued to be committed on their nation in the island of Sri Lanka.

While the Sinhala state in the island openly and officially celebrated the occasion as its victory, Tamils experienced the phenomenon as a vicious unprecedented trial on human civilization by an international system that has been working against them.

Even after one year, the response of the international system is its refusal to recognize the gravity of the national question in the island and to recognize the structural genocide that is taking place.

The international system has still not accepted its failure that its paradigms about terrorism, tactics of counter insurgency, approaches to peace-building and development have only paved way for unchecked genocide by the Sri Lankan state.

Sections in the international system is attempting to dilute the crime of genocide as war crimes on both sides so that the matter could be twisted and diffused ultimately saving State in the island. But, for countries including India and China, no case for even war crimes exists in Sri Lanka.

‘Either the genocide should be complete and conclusive, or let the Tamils organize another resistance if they can,’ is the attitude with which the Sinhala state is operating.

So far, the response of the international system is that with the paradigm of ‘multi-culturalism’, 'development' and ‘some accountability’, the national question of Tamils in the island can be resolved.

In the meantime, the Sri Lankan state has accelerated systematic colonisation of resourceful coastal and agricultural Tamil lands, and has been building infrastructure aimed at changing the demography, all in the name of 'development', which is abetted by a competing race by the powers engaged in the corporate colonial conquest of the island.

The international system fails or refuses to see that humiliation and structural genocide of Tamils by the Sinhala state have become ever more intense after the war, mainly assisted by the paradigms under which the international community is operating.

The Sri Lankan state and some members of the international system, mainly India, do not envisage significant constitutional changes in addressing the national question in the island. With the help of mobilizing a few ‘apologetic Tamils’ in the country and in the diaspora, they think the matter could be resolved with minor amendments in the constitution. A publicity campaign is already underway to emphasize that only such minor amendments are practically feasible.

The corporate colonial system is continuing to deny all space to Eezham Tamils for the negotiation of overlapping interests, but at the same time the system prefers to deal only with the Sinhala state which it finds more advantageous to its interests.

Denied of this direct negotiation space with the international system, the Tamils are forced into becoming ‘slaves to the slaves’, which means all options other than confrontation is closed for them, even one-year after the war.

To change this situation, much depends on the diaspora and on the people of Tamil Nadu in proving new geo-political realities, which the corporate colonialists of India as well as the international system, cannot ignore.

Further, the policy makers, peace-builders, development experimentalists and the NGO actors of the West, will likely be evaluating their failures in bringing productive changes to good governance in Sri Lanka, and will be driven to design a policy that incorporates having active dialogue with the grassroots of the Tamil diaspora.

The policy makers and the development experimentalists should realise that forging reconciliation with their own Tamil citizens of the grassroots in their countries, still caught in trauma, is of paramount importance, before embarking upon manipulating and 'educating' the Tamil elite on 'reconciliation' and 'development' with the exclusivist Sinhala Buddhist state in the island.

The Sri Lankan state has been using set of paradigms to shape its roadmap and conduct the State's programme against the cause of Eezham Tamils. These include, ‘War for Peace’, ‘Eliminating Terrorism’, ‘Post-LTTE scenario’, ‘Sri Lanka free from minorities’, ‘Co-existence as Sri Lankans’, ‘Development of East’ and ‘Development of North.'

Paradigms adopted by various actors explain the way these actors wish to perceive the world of their own and the tactics they deploy to advance their objectives.

Paradigms & Patterns
Some of the paradigms and the parameters applied by the Intenational Establishment

‘War on Terrorism’, ‘Counter Insurgency’, ‘Peace-building’, ‘Post-conflict Reconciliation’, ‘Development’ and the shade of NGO-culture promoted in recent years are some examples of how the International Establishment, blamed for 'corporate colonialism', has chosen to perceive and act on its world.

The Sri Lankan state, playing the geopolitical card, has enjoyed the flexibility of these readily available paradigms that have enabled confluence of Colombo’s interests with those of the powers. The net result of this confluence of paradigms is nothing other than Colombo sustaining a politico-military environment in its favour to effect a systematic programme of Tamil subjugation, a continued genocide in the island.

At this juncture, the Tamil diplomacy of the future should be shaped, by understanding the paradigms, and by finding ways to address the conflicts between the Tamil perspectives and the perspectives of the forged interests resulting from the paradigms of Colombo and the International Establishment.

Tamil polity's duty is to address the concerned global community and enlighten this community on the Tamil perspectives on reconciliation, development, peace-building and its aspired independence. An attitudinal change is urgently needed in the way the international system is approaching the Tamil national question.

In the changed context of the modus operandi of Tamil struggle, the Tamil nation now needs to adopt strategies for ‘alternative development’ and building ‘social capital’ with carefully designed networks at home, in the diaspora, and in Tamil Nadu to enable the Tamils in the island to resist subjugation.

At the same time, Tamils should focus on concrete actions at country, regional and alternative levels, exposing Sri Lankan state’s objective and plans of continued genocide.

Proving genocide is a long and hard process. Modern and technologically powerful approaches are available in our times to document the genocide. The Tamil polity has to be systematic, strategic and engage in result-oriented projects, building and documenting evidence of genocide.

New and energetic resources from Tamil diaspora should emerge, as the activists engaged in the old paradigm are increasingly succumbing to sectarian politics, old tactics and 'surrender diplomacy'.

Tamils should be diligent to avoid interference and exploitation by agencies of vested interest in diluting diaspora's determination to pursue genocide documentation project . They should be particularly aware of the institutions that have been part of the War on Terrorism baggage of the past.

The Sri Lankan state has demonstrated to the world that genocide is possible under the camouflage of Counter Insurgency and the ‘War against Terrorism’.

Colombo has used large sums of money on PR agencies and disinformation networks to carry out a systematic disinformation campaign against the Tamil struggle. Tamils world over have been systematically targeted and projected as supporting a ‘terrorist cause’.

The democratic Tamil institutions, currently being built at country level and at a trans-national level, now bear the responsibility to demonstrate their capacity, by organizing evidence collection to establish genocide, building the needed global awareness, and in seeking concrete legal results.

The Permanent People’s Tribunal on Sri Lanka, which held investigations on War Crimes in January 2010 in Dublin, highlighted the conduct of the European Union in undermining the Ceasefire Agreement of February 2002 to list the Tamil resistance movements as terrorist organizations in 2006. The Tribunal observed further that the EU had acted under pressure from the United States and the United Kingdom, despite being aware of the detrimental consequences to a peace process in the making.

The PPT has raised awareness on an important theme: Peace Crimes.

During the previous paradigm, the Tamil aspiration of independent Tamil Eelam was interpreted falsely as an exclusivist and 'terrorist' demand. The LTTE was made a legal target of proscriptions in various countries, even while the movement was engaged in a peace process and remained de-proscribed in Sri Lanka. As a result the concept of Tamil Eelam was made a political taboo in some quarters.

Meanwhile, some academics and long-term activists associated with the LTTE in the West, were exposed to a given shade of the 'NGO culture', which was operating within the paradigm of ‘peace-building by engaging the spoilers’ and abetting the Peace Crimes.

That the NGO agenda was carefully designed to weaken both the Sinhala and Tamil nationalisms in the island, became clearly evident later.

The international system chose to view the Tamil diaspora as a 'spoiler' to its 'peace-building'. It failed to view the Tamil diaspora as a partner with a positive integration experience in its own system.

The diaspora Tamils were viewed as ‘LTTE sympathisers’. Addressing the LTTE was addressing the diaspora, it was thought, and not the opposite.

The international system viewed the political mobilisation in the diaspora through the paradigm of Counter Insurgency of the War on Terrorism, making Tamils wonder whether the approach of peace-building being promoted was a subordinate tactic of a counter insurgency warfare at a global level. The Tamil diaspora was made the subject for model studies on how the diasporas were sustaining the 'insurgencies'.

Instead of effecting an attitudinal change in the exclusivist Sinhala Buddhist nationalism during the peacemaking, the international system sought to effect peacebuilding by seeking to weaken the inclusive and positive Tamil nationalism, which was also benefiting from the integrated Tamil diaspora.

The international system is now aware that the result of its approach was counter-productive.

The Sinhala Buddhist nationalism destroyed the de-facto state of Tamil Eelam and its conventional fighting force.

Immediately after the war, Colombo stepped up its counter-insurgency warfare in Europe and Asia by appointing military commanders who were in service as Ambassadors to the countries of Malaysia and Germany.

The Tamils in the diaspora, despite all the trends running against them, unanimously voiced for their aspiration within the last one-year, leaving no room for doubts or manipulations by re-mandating the main principle of Vaddukkoaddai Resolution, an independent and sovereign Tamil Eelam, through referendum in 10 countries.

The diaspora has come forward in creating democratically elected representatives at country level and in safeguarding the polity at trans-national level, transforming the struggle for Tamil Eelam into a politico-democratic struggle supported by the intellectual, political and financial capital of the million strong Tamil disapora which has assuredly matured into an independent force.

The Sri Lankan state and its abettors did not anticipate this organizational capacity of the Tamil diaspora.

Even today, a systematic campaign is directed against the three-tier efforts of Eezham Tamil Diaspora, the Global Tamil Forum (GTF), the democratically elected country councils in countries like Switzerland and the emerging Transnationational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) as “LTTE threat against Sri Lanka from abroad."

Still affected by trauma, Tamils are undertaking a peaceful democratic transformation of their cause. International community must be cognizant that diaspora is sufficiently resilient, and possess national memory and archived knowledge to carry the struggle forward to posterity, if necessary, until a fair and just solution is reached. Unjust application of paradigms, to make Tamils victims again, will only be counter productive to world order.

The State Department, Foreign Ministries, Development Ministries, the shade of NGO culture promoted by them and the Counter Insurgency agencies – all have a moral responsibility to look at the crisis also through the Tamil point of view if they want to really resolve the problems of Tamils.

Tamil response
If the Eezham Tamil Nation is to advance successfully forward from where it stands, it needs to adopt its own set of paradigms, capable of not only defeating opposing maneuvers of the Sri Lankan state and its abettors from outside, but also powerful in addressing the future from a broad perspective.

TamilNet has published a number of feature articles and opinion pieces during the last one-year. Some of the articles are listed below:

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