STOPPING THE "WAR"
(1999 June 09)
Last week posters had been displayed in Kolomba by an organisation calling itself Democratic National Association or the Prajathanthravadi Jathika Sanvidhanaya announcing the number of soldiers killed between 1995 and 1999 and the number of soldiers who have been disabled as a result of the "war". They want the government to stop the so-called war, which means that the government should not use the armed forces to defeat the LTTE Tamil racist terrorists.
Now except the arms dealers and the peace vendors others would like the operations of the army to come to an end. The arms dealers would not like the operations to come to an end as it would reduce their profits. The peace vendors would be happy to see that the government continues with what they call the war, as their mission would come to an end once the armed forces defeat the LTTE terrorists. However, the question is to determine the conditions under which the military operations could be stopped. Ironically as the above mentioned posters were on display in Kolomba, the LTTE, at Kiriibbanwewa, attacked a van carrying about twenty people to a musical show in the army camp at Padavi Parakramapura and killed eleven people including six women. The rest have been injured and five of them are in a critical state. Within a few days from the above murder the LTTE attacked Kokilai fisheries village and chased away the Sinhala people who were in an overwhelming majority. It is reported that there are about two thousand Sinhala people who are permanently settled down and about three thousand migrants from the western coast especially from places like Meegamuwa, almost all of them being Catholics.
Up to date I have not come across any statement by any of the peace vendors or the "humanitarians", who lament about those who get killed or become disabled as a consequence of continuing with the military operations, condemning the action of the LTTE. Neither have they put up posters requesting the terrorists to consider the plight of the disabled LTTE cadres and those who are orphaned by the so-called war. It could be that, unlike in the case of the soldiers of the "Sinhala army", these people are not troubled by the LTTE cadres being killed and they do not want the terrorists to stop fighting. On the other hand, it may be that as these humane campaigners know very well that if the government decides to withdraw the army, then there is no possibility of the LTTE cadres being killed and that the terrorists would have a free hand in killing innocent Sinhala people or chasing them out of the so-called Tamil homeland.
So while the "humanitarians" and the "piece" loving peace vendors are campaigning against military operations against the LTTE, Prabhakaran is occupied with killing innocent people in the Weli oya region. We have not heard anything from the Bishop Rayappu Joseph or the Bishop Malcolm Ranjith on the plight of the Sinhala Catholics. Neither have Rev. Kamburugamuwe Wajira and the Rev. Athureliye Indaratane Theros and the others of the Palli Nikaya, who travelled to Madu during the Wesak period, made a visit to Padavi Parakramapura and Kokilai.
Nobody has to teach Prabhakaran and the Tamil racists the importance of the Weli oya region, which lies on the northern border of the eastern province. Not only Prabhakaran, but all the Tamil racists whether they are terrorists or not want the Sinhala people both Buddhists and Catholics to leave the Weli oya region. They are interested in this exercise of ethnic cleansing as the Sinhala people living in this area is an obstacle on their way to an Eelam in a territory that includes the present northern and eastern provinces. The Tamil racists directly as well as indirectly work to see that the Sinhala people are chased out from this area and I am told that some influential people have requested the Sinhala Catholics in Kokilai to leave that area. It is the duty of the government to give full protection to these innocent Sinhala people living in the Weli oya area.
Some Tamil racists would argue that the north and the east constitute the Tamil homeland and that the Sinhala people were settled in Padavi Parakramapura as part of state colonisation, though the TULF appears to have now dropped the Tamil homeland concept. However as Messrs. Gamini Iriyagolla and Denis Fernando and Prof. G. H. Pieris have conclusively established there is no merit what so ever in this concept and hence it has to be rejected totally. The Sinhala people occupied not only the Weli oya region but the present eastern province, which belonged to Ruhuna, until the British period. Prof. Tennekone Vimalananda in his books gives a vivid description of how the British massacred the Sinhala people and ethnic cleansed the present eastern province. The governments after independence in 1948 had a duty by the Sinhala people to reverse the ethnic cleansing policy of the British and re-settle them in the eastern province from Tamankaduwa to Panam Paththuwa. Any body who is against the policy of re-settling the Sinhala people is only following the ethnic cleansing policy of the British and the Tamil racists have been trying to deny the rights of the Sinhala people, including the land rights.
The "humanitarians" who put up the posters want the government to stop military operations, which they call a war against the LTTE. The LTTE has taken up arms against the state in order to create a separate state and it is the foremost duty of the government to protect the state. The government cannot relinquish its duties simply because the "piece" lovers agitate and it amounts to treason for the government to stop military operations. Now what do these poster campaigners and the others of their ilk would want the government to do in the absence of military operations. They will cry in unison that the government should enter into negotiations with the LTTE, and most of them would add the condition on third party mediations.
Even if one were to agree for negotiations for the sake of argument, one has to ponder on what the ultimate aim of such negotiations should be. The Tamil racism that goes back to the previous century is based on one aspiration. The aspiration is nothing but to deny the rightful place being given to the Sinhala people, the Sinhala Language, the Sinhala Culture and the Sinhala history of the country. Some Tamils would like the others to believe that the Tamils have graduated from "grievances" to "aspirations". For example in a paper submitted to the so-called "International Conference for Tamil Nationhood and the search for Peace in Sri Lanka" held in Ottawa on 21st and 22nd of May, Mr. Kumar Ponnambalam has said (one can read this paper at the Eelamist web site located at http://www.tamilcanadian.com/eelam/conference/kumar.html) "by this time (1985), the Tamil Nation had graduated to wanting the recognition and acceptance of their "aspirations" as opposed to "concessions", "rights", etc. and had abandoned worrying not only about "grievances", "discrimination", but also about looking at itself as a "community" or "minority", etc. It was to be henceforth aspirations and nationhood. It was this radical change in concept of the Tamil Nation that found expression in the four "Thimpu Principles" which articulated the "aspirations" of the Tamil Nation."
Nothing is further from the truth. Long before 1985 the Tamil racist parties had formulated the Thimpu conditions, though may not be in the same words. In any case it has always been a case of aspirations from the very beginning. The Tamil racists, based on a mythical history in the traditions of Yalpana Vaipava Malai, and sponsored by the British, have always aspired to deny the rightful place being given to the Sinhala people. The campaign against the universal franchise by the Tamils lead by Mr. Ponnambalam Ramanathan, the 50-50 campaign spearheaded by Mr. G.G. Ponnambalam were all directed with that objective. The so-called grievances became "grievances" when certain steps taken by various governments were looked at from a Tamil racist angle. For example consider the re-settlement of the Sinhala people in certain regions in the eastern province. In most cases the Sinhala people were re-settled in areas where there were hardly any Tamils. In any case they were re-settled in the region that was ethnic cleansed by the British. The Tamil racists objected to the re-settlement of the Sinhala people on the grounds that the eastern province was their homeland. Now how and why did they come to the conclusion that the north and the east constituted the Tamil homeland? It was based on a mythical history with no historical or archaeological evidence to corroborate and was done with the intention of denying the Sinhala people their land from which they had been chased out by the British. The re-settlement of the Sinhala people, in the eyes of the Tamil racists, became state colonisation and a so-called grievance. Thus this particular grievance is not really a grievance but a denial of their land to the Sinhala people by Tamil racism. In general the "grievances" arose out of the aspiration of the Tamil racists to deny the rightful place being given to the Sinhala people. It is not a case of graduating from grievances to aspirations but a matter of "grievances" created through aspirations.
The "humanitarian" "piece" lovers want the government to stop military operations and start negotiations. What are the basic conditions for the so-called peace talks. Mr. Ponnambalam unlike many others is very clear on this. In the above-mentioned paper he states: "So the time has come for the Sinhala Nation to get its act together. Let the Sinhala Nation, through its political leaders or representatives, disclose its hand on the Thimpu Principles. Only after their position is disclosed will it be possible for the Tamils to decide whether there could be talks to discuss a political solution. Only if there is a possibility for talks can one say, with any degree of correctness, that the "Peace Process" has commenced. Not till then. In other words, we are still far away from commencing any kind of a "Peace Process".
If the Thimpu Principles are accepted and recognised in a politico - legal document, one could think of giving flesh and blood to the Thimpu Principles. But never on the basis of the three documents that have been put out as "Peace Packages", for the simple reason that these documents go counter to the Thimpu Principles in some instances, and are silent about some of the Thimpu Principles, in other instances. For example, the concept of the Indissoluble Union of Regions goes counter to the principle of the right of self - determination and the provision to truncate the Eastern Province goes counter to the principle regarding the traditional homeland of the Tamils. Besides these, none of the documents have recognised that the Tamils are a distinct and separate entity or that it is a Nation. For these reasons, the "Peace Packages" are a non-est to the vast majority of Tamils.
Instead of what these lop-sided "Peace Packages" say, if any meaningful content is to be given to the Thimpu Principles, only a confederation, in the strictest sense of the word, can be a lasting political structure today, after all that has happened, which will not only give vent to the aspirations of the Tamils but also make it possible for the Tamils and Sinhalese to live together again like in the times before 1956".
Mr. Ponnambalam is not satisfied with anything less than a confederation. He would start with the Thimpu conditions and finish with at least a confederation. The LTTE has very often said the same thing and people like Prof. A. J. Wilson, the only son-in-law of Mr. Chelvanayakam have also articulated this position. Now these Thimpu conditions, in Mr. Ponnambalam's words are as follows."(1) that the Tamil people are a distinct and separate identity, and therefore must be accepted as a Nation; (2) that the Tamils have a traditional homeland and its territory must be inviolate; (3) that, on the basis of the two norms above, the Tamils are possessed of the inalienable right to self-determination, and (4) the principle of equality". (This last condition is not exactly a Thimpu condition). Mr. Ponnambalam continues: "The Delegation of the Tamil People" comprising of, a group of six Tamil recognised Political Parties - the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the Peoples Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), the Eelam Peoples Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) and the Eelam Research Organisation of Students (EROS) - further emphasised.
The Sri Lankan Government would not hear of this and the talks broke even before it could start. But however unpalatable the Thimpu Principles may be to the Sinhala Nation, only the total acceptance of these Principles, today, can bring the Tamils to the table to discuss a political solution to the Tamil National conflict." Mr. Ponnambalam's words must be very clear to everybody. The Tamil racist parties including the TULF emphasise that "any political solution, in the future, to the Tamil National conflict could only be after the acceptance and recognition, in toto, of the Thimpu Principles, in the first instance".
It is clear, from the above, that the government could start negotiations only after agreeing to the Thimpu conditions in toto. So the "peace" talks will invariably take the form of "piece" talks and if the government listens to the "humanitarians" and engage in negotiations after stopping military operations the final outcome will be a confederation which is only a stepping stone to Eelam. That is one way of stopping the "war", by creating an Eelam, the way advocated by the "humanitarian" "piece" lovers. However, when the Tamil racists insist on "Thimpu conditions" which is nothing but the denial of the rightful place to the Sinhala people, their history, culture and language there is another way of stopping the "war" that is by defeating the LTTE militarily and Tamil racism politically.
In the article "VERITAS THE VOICE OF TIGERS" that appeared last week it was stated that "Prof. (Fr.) Chandrakanthan has shown a slide of St. Peters in Jaffna among others and has said 'this is our Dalada Maligawa". However, it is not Prof. Chandrakanthan who has said this but Mr. Ethiriweerasingham. The error is regretted very much.