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TNA-LTTE presents the 'civilian' terrorist

Terrorism: In the early days of Tiger terrorism, human rights organisations accused the Sri Lankan State of treating every Tamil as a terrorist. Now, things seem to have taken a different turn. Today it is the Tamil National Alliance and the LTTE that want to convince the world there is no difference between a Tamil civilian and a terrorist in Tiger-dominated areas.

The August 6 issue of the Sinhala daily Lakbima (Sunday issue) quotes TNA Parliamentarian K. Sivajilingam as saying that it is not the Tigers but Tamil civilians in LTTE-dominated areas who shut the Mavil Aru sluice, sparking off the current crisis. But in the same issue TULF Leader V. Anandasangaree vehemently condemns the Wanni Tigers for "insulting the Tamil people in the eyes of the international community by closing the Mavil Aru sluice."

If Anandasangaree is right then Sivajiligam too is insulting the Tamil people. This recalls the LTTE saying that the unprovoked claymore mine attacks on government troops early this year were not the actions of Tigers but Tamil civilians.

The TNA member attributes the closure of the sluice to the suspension of an Asian Development Bank-funded water supply project in the Tiger-controlled area. Whatever the reason and whoever was responsible the closure was obviously a terrorist act to which the Wanni Tigers turned a blind eye. Norway's request to the LTTE to open the sluice proves it beyond doubt.

If Sivajilingam is telling the truth, then why did not the LTTE prevent this despicable inhuman act of depriving water to civilians in the government-controlled sector? Does it mean that the Wanni Tiger leadership has no control over the people they claim to represent?

This also raises another question. Why did not the Wanni Tigers (who were able to send their media spokesman Daya Master to Colombo for medical treatment) bring this issue of the ADB project to the government's attention? Are Sivajilingam and TNA insisting that the government made no efforts at all to solve the Mavil Aru problem through negotiations before resorting to military action?

Earlier the LTTE was reported as saying that it closed the sluice because of the European Union's ban. It is of course the most absurd statement that the Wanni Tigers have ever issued, since it is not the people of Serunuwara who were responsible for the EU ban, which in fact the Tigers have brought upon themselves.

Calling them terrorists, however is the most unpleasant and difficult but unavoidable challenge facing the NGO `peace' brigade. It is therefore trying to `balance' its approach by doing everything possible to undermine efforts to boost the morale of the armed forces and the civil population facing the brunt of LTTE terrorism. Fighting it is therefore termed Sinhala racist sabre-rattling.

The weekly Rawaya in a couple of recent issues, including last week's edition ran articles attacking Ranaviru commemorations, the Manel Flower campaign and the JHU's distribution of bomb detection instruments among schoolchildren.

The writers of the articles alleged that such measures taken in the interest national security were really moves to build up war hysteria among the people. But the silence of these `peace pundits' on the LTTE giving military training (including blasting claymore mines) to Tamil civilians in the Wanni and the Tiger Maweer day celebrations to commemorate Tiger suicide cadres and other terrorists is deafening.

In the July 30 Rawaya issue, one writer seemed depressed over the responses of some Sinhala schoolchildren when asked who their heroes were. According to him, they had cited King Dutugemunu and General Parami Kulatunga as their heroes. In the writer's view, the children's heroes should have been leaders such as Mahathma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. At first glance this idea seems to be very noble thought.

However, it is not difficult to see the hypocrisy behind this argument, which is really aimed at breaking the people's will to resist Tiger terrorism. Gandhi and Martin Luther practised their non-violence in a different socio-political context.

Despite all the brutal violence that the British Imperialists unleashed on Gandhi and thousands of his followers, the colonial government executed neither Gandhi nor any of the Indian leaders who pursued his path of non-violence towards independence. Moreover it was World War II - rather than Gandhian politics - that compelled the British to give up India sooner than they expected.

The British law and democratic parliamentary system helped Gandhi to argue his case in both India and England. But had Gandhi tried experimenting with non-violent politics in Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, Idi Amin's Uganda or Pol Pot's Cambodia, he would have either faced the firing squad or at least ended up in a concentration camp for life. Non-violence has absolutely no effect against despots.

So anyone advocating Gandhian methods, as means of resisting Prabhakaran and company ought to have his head examined. We all know the fate of non-violent Tamil leaders who fail to tow the LTTE line.

History has proved that Gandhi's attempt to prevent bloodshed by agreeing (according his belief in ahimsa) to the division of India for the creation of a separate Islamic State was a total failure. To this date Indo-Pakistan friction continues. No doubt today Gandhi is a revered figure in India as elsewhere but it is not his policies that Delhi has been pursuing since independence for very good reasons.

In the case of Martin Luther King his non-violent Civil Rights campaign was greatly admired - among many others - by American Leftists and intellectuals and eventually compelled the U.S. Government to grant the just demands of Afro-Americans. But King's non-violence had absolutely no effect on violent white racist groups like the Ku Klux Klan as his assassination clearly proved.

It was only movements like the militant Black Panthers and the Black Muslims that made the white extremists to think twice before terrorizing `niggers' as in the past, although the lunatic fringe in white society still remains strong in some parts of the U.S.

But to the Rawaya and other `peace crusaders' Sri Lanka's racists and warmongers are the JVP and the JHU and not the Wanni Tigers who have engaged in bloody ethnic cleansing and violated the ceasefire agreement with impunity. To the UNP it is not the Defence Chiefs but the JVP and the JHU that give the government military advice, going by Tissa Attanayake's hilarious statements.

The JVP and JHU, whatever their faults may be, have entered the political mainstream and are represented in Parliament. Neither party has called for the expulsion of Tamils from the South nor have they opposed equal opportunities being given to the Tamils in housing, education, employment, health facilities and other human needs.

A notable feature in the `peace' activists' ballyhoo is that they almost never use the term ethnic cleansing since it shows the Wanni Tigers in a very bad light.

Can the 'peace mongers' explain why more Tamils live in government-controlled areas, among `racist' Sinhalese rather than in the Wanni under the rule of their so-called liberators - the self-styled sole representatives of the Tamil people? Why do these `freedom fighters' depend on government funding of the infrastructure and the civil administrative machinery in the so-called Tamil Eelam and also have proxies (the TNA) in Parliament? Sri Lanka is perhaps the only State in the world that caters to the needs of civilians living under an illegal terrorist regime that wants to bisect the country.

Is it not the Sri Lankan State that is sustaining life in the LTTE-dominated areas - the so-called Tamil Eelam - by allocating US$ 1283.10 million (according to Government Peace Secretariat figures) for North-East development projects?

One thing is crystal clear. It is that the Tigers can 'never deliver anything meaningful and healthy to the Tamils,' as the University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) noted seven years ago.

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