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
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
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
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.