Political expediencies and the clouds of war!
Gen. Sarath Fonseka in one of his many statements to the press during
his tenure as the Army Commander said that the ‘minorities can live in
this country but they do not have the right to wage war in the name of
grievances’. Well, that was Sarath Fonseka, the professional army
soldier, but now after having received his ‘political tuition’ from the
UNP and Ranil Wickremesinghe he has changed his views and have entered
in to an understanding with the LTTE proxy, the current TNA a.k.a the
ITAK stands for Ilangey Tamil Arasu Kachchi and that means ‘The Party
for a Tamil State in Sri Lanka’.
This party was formed by SJV Chelvanayagam on December 19, 1949 at
the Railway Union office in Maradana, Colombo with some hubristic Tamil
leaders who shared his separatists thinking. This effectively was a few
months after the formation of the first independent Government of Ceylon
under D. S. Senanayake.
Deeds and sayings of SJVC during this time made it amply clear that
his real intention, right from the time of independence, was not
peaceful cohabitation with the majority Sinhalese but separatism by some
means or the other.
Addressing a YMMA meeting in Fort in 1948 SJVC maintained that. “It
is better for us to have our own land than to live on the benevolence of
the Sinhalese”. In here he has been truthful when he uses the word
‘benevolence’ for what he meant was that however well the Sinhalese
would treat the Tamils, there is a compulsive urge among the Tamils to
be separate. This truthfulness probably bellied him for the rest of his
life when he concocted all those lies about ‘Tamils getting
discriminated in the hands of the ‘Sinhala’ Government.’
safety, the dream of the displaced
SJV Chelvanayagam missed out the opportunity to become a Minister in
the First Cabinet in the Independent Ceylon, because there were two
senior Tamils ahead of him including his own party leader
Ganapathypillai Ganapragasam Ponnambalam.
Hence he quarrelled with his leader for betraying the ‘Tamil cause’
by accepting a Ministerial portfolio in the ‘Sinhala Government’. It was
then that he left his party All Ceylon Tamil Congress to form his own
party, the IATK.
This party thus formed, by its own very name betrayed the duplicity
and the mala-fide intentions of its leader, SJVC. Although this party
was named in Tamil as Ilankay Tamil Arasu Kachchi, SJVC was careful
enough to name the party in English and in Sinhala as the ‘Federal
Party’. This careful distinction was made primarily because, to the
Tamil polity he wanted to project the picture of a messiah who will
deliver them to their promised land justifying his need to focus on
racialism while to the English and Sinhala speaking people he conveyed
the impression that he was only requesting a ‘Federal State for the
States that have amalgamated as Federations have ‘Federal
institutions’ for administrative, investigative and research needs of
that new country, centrally operating to coordinate the activities of
all the states. But never have we heard of a political party called
‘Federal party’ in any of those countries. This name ‘Federal’ therefore
was fraudulently handpicked by Chelvanayagam to mislead the Sinhalese
and hence the emphasis.
The strategy that time was to demand a federation and then to opt out
of that federation at the propitious time.
This is the beginning of Tamil separatism and it was this party ITAK;
that focused and obsessed the local Tamils under the banner of
racialism: that organized the Sri Lankan Tamil expatriates to finance
and propagate the Eelam war: that obtained the support of the Christian
and Catholic Churches to its cause; that established relations with
Tamil Nadu to instigate the South Indian Tamils and thereby to
pressurize the Central Government of India: that established the massive
global misinformation campaign against the state of Sri Lanka.
Therefore, for S J V. Chelvanayagam to start this ITAK in 1949, the
‘Tamil cause’ should have existed by then, and that is by 1949. Since
the Government of Independent Sri Lanka was formed in February 1948 what
factors could have led Chelvanayagam to take this course of action,
especially in view of the fact that no legislation that affected any
community has been sanctioned by the newly formed Legislative State
And more paradoxically, all the incidents that the Tamil leaders cite
as reasons for Tamil grievances that manifested into a ‘Tamil cause’
have taken place after 1949. That is; the Citizenship Act was in 1951:
the Galoya Valley settlements were in 1952: the language issue was in
1956: Abrogation of the BC Pact was in 1956; the letter ‘Shri’ was in
1958; Dudley Chelvanayagam Pact was in 1965; standardization of
University entrance was in 1972 and July riots was in 1983.
Therefore it is nothing but logical to conclude that the ‘Tamil
cause’ was not a result of discrimination by the ‘Sinhala majority’
Government since independence but rather it existed at the time of
independence. What happened after independence was that Chelvanayagam,
after having formed the separatist Tamil party in 1949 was on the look
out for situations that could be interpreted as reasons for this Tamil
separatist campaign. Hence every piece of legislation that was
introduced to redress colonial grievances and democratize the country
was twisted as being designed to ‘discriminate the Tamils’. Therefore
the ‘Tamil grievances - post independence’ was invented by the founder
of ITAK to form the basis of their eventual struggle, political and
armed, against the newly independent state.
Hence it should now be clear that this ITAK founded by Chelvanayagam
and currently led by Sampanthan is an inherently separatist party that
never stood for a unitary Sri Lanka and their ‘grievances’ were only a
front to wage war against the state. They have never deviated from their
1951 Trincomalee declaration, 1976 Vadukkodai resolution and the 1981
Thimpu principles which insisted on Territorial separation, Eelam
sovereignty and Self-government for Tamils.
Mahinda Rajapaksa has always stood by the unity of Sri Lanka and has
unequivocally declared that all those communities who wish a united Sri
Lanka are welcome to support him.
Hence it is now apparent that Fonseka is wooing the minorities
promising them more than what a peaceful and united country could
afford. ITAK could now horse trade the Tamil vote only because Rajapaksa
liberated the Tamils from the clutches of Prabhakaran.
Political expediencies of myopic leaders like Chandrika and Ranil
strengthened the LTTE and now it looks that Fonseka is treading the same
path. But in the case of Fonseka, indulging in ITAK separatism and an
eventual war will suit him better because he is a man who revels in war.
Fonseka would not wish for anything more than the Presidency in a war
ravaged country for he could then import arms, carry out extra judicial
killings and suspend democracy altogether.