PERUMAL AND PIECE TALKS
(1999 May 19)
It is reported in the newspapers that Mr. Vardharaja Perumal, the former chief minister of the provincial council of the northern and eastern provinces has had talks with the President Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga on Thursday the 13th. Mr. Perumal was in Colombo earlier in January and there were speculations then that his visit was sponsored by the government of Sri Lanka. We do not know what transpired at the talks between Ms. Kumaratunga and Mr. Perumal on Thursday but Prabhakaran and the LTTE more than anybody else must be very concerned about the visit of the former chief minister.
The state media has announced that Mr. Perumal went to India after he was threatened by the LTTE without mentioning that, he fled to India on or about the tenth of March 1990, having unilaterally declared Eelam on the first of March 1990. Mr. Perumal was a member of the EPRLF, which had very good relationship with India. The EPRLF was supported by the Indian army, which was in Sri Lanka then and Mr. Perumal and his colleagues in the provincial council created a so-called Tamil National Army with the help of the Indians. When Mr. Perumal had to flee after declaring Eelam the Indian government gave protection to him. It is reported that he had come to the airport surrounded by bodyguards provided by the Indian government (RAW) and at least two of them had accompanied him to Sri Lanka.
Who is sponsoring Mr. Perumal and what is he doing in Sri Lanka at a time when the peace vendors are again agitating for talks with the LTTE? It was only the previous week that a delegation of the so-called inter religious organisation met the President for one of their usual sermons on peace. After the "sermon" Ms. Kumaratunga has said that she is willing to talk with the LTTE provided the latter give up their claim for a separate state and agree to finish the negotiations within a specific time period. She has also said that she was not prepared to allow for any third party mediations.
The LTTE had told the delegation of the inter religious body that went to Wanni under the auspicious of the Bishop of Mannar, Fr. Rayappu Joseph who wants the army to leave the Madu church premises so that the LTTE can operate again in that area, that they wanted third party mediation in negotiations. As announced by the delegation led by Bishop Kenneth Fernando, the Buddhist priests of the "piece nikaya" or the "palli nikaya" according to many Buddhists, being taken for cosmetic purposes, the LTTE is ready to give up the call for a separate state, provided of course they get something substantial. The delegation did not elaborate on what the LTTE wanted but it is well known, as has been stated by Prof. A. J. Wilson, the only son-in-law of Mr. Chelvanayakam, that the LTTE is prepared to give up its call for a separate state provided a confederation is offered. Now what the delegation for "piece" does not tell us is that a confederation is a loose link between two governments and in the present case it amounts to a connection between Sri Lanka (?) and Eelam. Once a confederation is established it does not need an Indian backed Vardharaja Perumal to declare an Eelam.
It is clear that there are two interested groups operating with different motives over the Tamil racist problem. The "piece corps" backed by the western countries, their NGO's and the others in the seminar circuit, including organisations like the inter religious bodies would like the government to start talks with the LTTE with third party mediation or at lest some kind of facilitation. The other group, which consists of India and some Tamil racists in Sri Lanka, would like to dissociate from the LTTE and present Mr. Perumal as the candidate for the chief minister's post in the provincial council of the north and the east. However it is not known whether the EPRLF as a party would support this move. There appear to be differences of opinion within the EPRLF on the question of the leadership and Mr. Perumal may not be acceptable to some members.
India for obvious reasons would not like the formation of a separate state and would press for a federal state with more powers to the provincial councils or the regional councils as the case may be. However whether India likes it or not a federal state would give rise to a confederation which in turn would end up in a separate state. In the long run it is in the interests of India to preserve the unitary state in Sri Lanka, but the sahibs in the Indian foreign office and especially in the RAW do not seem to have understood this mundane truth. They are working under the assumption that they would be able to control the provincial council in the east and the north with people like Mr. Perumal inducted as chief ministers.
It is not so much the Indian politicians who are working with some kind of a strategy with respect to the Tamil racist problem in Sri Lanka. There is only a caretaker government in India and it is very unlikely that Mr. Vajpayee, at present, has time for Vardharaja Perumals. It is the Brahmins in the foreign office and the RAW, working with their pet theories, dreams and modus operandi, who are more inclined to promote Mr. Perumal for the chief ministership in the provincial council of the north and the east. These sahibs probably sense a congress government coming into power at the Indian elections and are in the process of formulating a course of action for the new Prime Minister. With the Rajiv Gandhi assassination being reminded over and over again, a Congress government could be persuaded to implement the policies of the Kautilyans in the foreign office and the RAW regarding the Tamil racist problem in Sri Lanka. Thus Mr. Perumal's visit to Sri Lanka is more in anticipation of an impending Congress government.
The so-called leaders of Sri Lanka who have been the Presidents, Prime Ministers and important ministers in the recent past have no independent policy on the Tamil racist problem. As they are more interested in coming to power and retaining power with the help of the Tamil racist parties they are caught between the Indian and the western policies on this matter. They also see the problem through the eyes of the Tamil racists and those of either the western powers or the Indians. However we call ourselves an independent country and to add insult to injury the Tamil racists call the governments formed by these so-called leaders Sinhala governments. The weak kneed Presidents and the others who are supposed to have ruled this country are not in a position to tell the foreign powers that there cannot be any talks either with the LTTE or with Mr. Perumal as long as they are armed, subscribe to the Thimpu conditions and do not accept that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist country just as much England is recognised as an Anglo Saxon Christian country, and in spite of a so-called secular state India is known as a Hindi speaking Hindu country. Even the British by the convention of 1815 accepted at least formally and legally that this country is a Sinhala Buddhist country. The fact that they did not respect the convention only proved that they were British.
There is a claim that this country is multi-ethnic and therefore all the citizens should be equally treated. It is said that if the country is recognised as a Sinhala Buddhist then the non-Sinhala Buddhists would become second class citizens. Now these are two different assertions that do not depend on each other. If that is the case, in England, Jews, Chinese, Hindus, Tamils and people belonging to various other communities should be second class citizens. In England (Britain) English is the official language and in India Hindi is the official language. However on account of that the Tamils living in those countries do not claim that they are second class citizens. Then how can anybody claim that the Tamils in Sri Lanka become second class citizens simply because Sinhala, which is spoken and understood by more than 85% of the people, is made the only official language. Why should people claim that English, which is spoken and understood by about 6% of the population should be the link language and still some others demand that all the people in the country should learn all the three languages Sinhala, Tamil and English.
This is only an example for rightful place not being given to the Sinhala language, Sinhala culture, and Sinhala history and not recognising the fact that the Sinhala people form the majority of the people. Making Sinhala only the official language does not make Tamils second class citizens in Sri Lanka, if they are not relegated to a second class position due to the fact that Tamil is not an official language in England and in India. The official language of a country is not the only language in which the people could communicate with the government. What is happening in Sri Lanka is that in the name of a so-called multi-ethnic country the Sinhala culture etc., are not given the rightful place. In this country there exists no Sinhala chauvinism but a Tamil racism that prevents the Sinhala culture, Sinhala language and Sinhala history being given their rightful place. In order to justify that, the "scholars" who are paid, maintained or recognised by Tamil racism have created a mythical history in the tradition of the "Yalpana Vaipava Malai", that does not corroborate with any historical or archaeological facts. The so-called grievances were created using this mythical history in order to make sure that the uniqueness of the Sinhala culture built by the Sinhala people in this country is not recognised, among other matters.
It is essential that the Tamils should realise that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist country and that by recognising that fact they do not become second class citizens in this country. They have been pushed to agitate for so-called parity status by the British, the power hungry Tamil racist politicians, the liberals and the Marxists who are conceptually more westernised than the others and those who masquerade as intellectuals while exposing their ignorance of the country and its people. The competence to repeat some western theories, very often with quotations and footnotes, does not make one an intellectual. As I have said in a previous article the Buddhists who are familiar with the "deconstruction" of the concepts of "I and mine" (ahankara and mamankara) do not need a Derrida to deconstruct the western theories.
The so-called Sinhala leaders who are interested only in coming to power and retaining power are not concerned with exposing the Tamil racist myths. They succumb to these myths and try to solve a non-existing problem of discriminations against the Tamils and attempt to fulfil the Tamil "aspirations". The Tamil racists as well as the British and the west and the RAW have to be told by the President and the other important people around her in no uncertain terms that the problem in this country is due to Tamil racism trying to prevent the rightful place being given to the Sinhala language, culture etc. The Tamil racist problem can be solved only if the Tamil racists give up their racism. As long as they stick to their racism by trying to prevent the Sinhala language, culture and history given their due place there cannot be any discussions with either Perumals or Prabhakarans. If Prabhakaran and the LTTE have taken up arms in the name of Tamil racism then there is only one solution to that problem, that is defeat the LTTE militarily. As we have often pointed out there cannot be any talks with the Tamil racists whether they are sponsored by the west or by India, as the Tamil racists insist that the Thimpu conditions are non-negotiable. If they are non-negotiable then what is left to be discussed is the modalities of transfer of power. Do the west and India (RAW) think that whatever arm-twisting methods they apply, the Sinhala people will agree to it? If they think so then they are sadly mistaken.