Feature Article

Rajapaksa's three-pronged strategy

[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 November 2008, 01:47 GMT]
While celebrating its military achievements, Colombo is secretly prodded on an alternative game. Mahinda Rajapaksa is upto a three-pronged strategy now: limiting LTTE's jurisdiction with a low-profiled war, coercing Tamil political circles for his plans and conducting snap polls. A superficial solution is on the cards through Mahinda-Manmohan protocol. Unity and vigilance of Tamil Nadu are the need of the hour for countering any sabotage of the national cause of Eezham Tamils, writes TamilNet's Special Correspondent in a Situation Report.

Colombo is celebrating its military occupation of three Tamil locations, Maangku’lam, Poonakari and Kumizhamunai.

They are not towns as claimed in news, giving distorted imagination to outsiders. There was no urbanization for decades in the Tamil areas. The first two are mere junctions with a few shops and boutiques and the last one is a humble village.

The international media of global information monopoly and its agencies operating in Colombo have been reduced to a position to report whatever the government says as news. They don’t have the guts to teach an appropriate lesson to a government that denied its media freedom to report war as seen by them in the front.

Rather they have chosen to abet the propaganda war of the government by giving biased prominence to government advances, implying subtle relief at 'LTTE debacles' and above all by failing to report the structural violence amounting to genocide committed on Tamils by the government in the process of the war.

However, those who are capable of perceiving the current war realities in the island will not be surprised at the military advances of the Colombo government.

It is a war waged with superior manpower, resources and tacit assistance from the Indian Establishment as well as from all the powers of the world against a humble people who only fight for their liberation and to defend them from genocide.

With limited manpower and resources the efficiency of the resistance war lies in the limiting of the frontiers.

The invincibility of the LTTE is its survivability. They know how to look after their physical survivability. Their moral survivability is deeply embedded in the hearts of more than 70 million Tamils in Sri Lanka, India and all over the world as long as they uphold the righteous aspirations of Eezham Tamils.

Contrary to media reports of a panic-stricken LTTE, the leaders of the LTTE are maintaining absolute cool. A senior political leader of Tamil Nadu who is in regular touch with Vanni was amazed at the calmness he sensed in the Tiger leadership.

But of course the grief and anxiety of the civilians in Vanni is another story.

What so ever, Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa seems to have recently received some prodding from his sponsors to accept certain bitter realities that included the gravity of the public uprising in Tamil Nadu and the impending impact of global economic crisis on Sri Lanka.

But he is now up to an altogether different game.

The celebrations over the capture of the three locations and over the possibility of opening a ‘ferry route’ to Jaffna peninsula were not merely aimed at boosting the morale of the armed forces and the Sinhala masses. They were to justify his limitations in continuing the war started by him any further in the same way. His allowance of time for waging the war is almost over.

The frantic and incessant effort by the Sri Lanka military in the last few days to break through the LTTE defences in the Mukamaalai sector is to guarantee the operation of the ferry route to Jaffna before the war is forced stopped. The ferry route in reality cannot function as long as it is in the range of the LTTE artillery positioned in the Mukamaalai – Elephant Pass stretch.

The rhetoric coming out in the last few days from the side of Mahinda Rajapaksa as well as that of Ranil Wikramasinge, which are just sides of the same coin as far as Sinhala chauvinism is concerned, blares out about the success in wiping out the LTTE and hints at stopping the war shortly.

Keeping the LTTE within a limited territory, the aim now is to have a political war of coercion and deceit against Tamil nationalism.

Colombo circles now hint at the revival of the APRC, inclusion of TNA in it and at the possibility of snap polls for the parliament in December, before the warmth of the seeming military achievements fade away.

However there is no hint on political package substantially going anywhere beyond the jinxed 13th amendment.

The game at which Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa is engaged now is three-pronged:

First to ensure military silence of the LTTE, either by getting some assurance or by making it committed to an international protocol. Alternatively enacting a ban on the LTTE to silence it and the aspirations it stands for, politically.

Second to apply his expertise in coercion politics on Tamil leaders and groups to create an image that Tamils are on his side and they are thankfully agreeable to whatever political largesse he could manage with much difficulties arising from the Sinhala extremist side.

What is new about his coercion politics other than the trapping of Tamil elements already in his camp is his attempt now to apply the same to the 23 strong Tamil Parliamentarians who are not on his side.

Mr. Mano Ganeshan, the single MP elected under the tag of Western Province Peoples Front and three MPs of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Mr. S. Jeyananthamoorthy, Mr. P. Ariyanethiran and Mr. S, Kajendran have recently been subjected to rigorous questioning by the Terrorist Investigative Division of the police, reportedly at the behest of orders from the ‘above’.

Mano Ganeshan in his statement has said that was asked about his visit to Ki’linochchi, the LTTE headquarters.

TNA circles said that Mr. Jeyananthamoorthy and Mr. Ariyanethiran were investigated for their speeches related to Tamil nationalism, which were seen by the government as a breach of the 6th amendment of the constitution that prohibits anything associated with the aim of a separate state within Sri Lanka.

Mr. Kajendran, who was investigated for eight hours on Wednesday, was questioned, in addition to his alleged breaching of the 6th amendment, about his speeches viewed as demeaning the military of Sri Lanka.

The speculation is that the Tamil national question would be silenced in the political arena either by coercing the TNA members or by making them lose the position citing the 6th amendment.

The third prong, the snap elections, is the master plan to limit the political concessions to the minimum possible level through the dark side of democracy, i.e., majoritarianism of the Sinhalese and citing it as the will of the people on one hand and preventing Tamil nationalists getting elected through intimidation in the military occupied regions on the other hand. The upcountry Tamil leadership has already been approached in this respect, pressing them to face the elections allied with the SLFP.

Yet another front is the diaspora front. Coercing the diaspora started long back through Colombo’s international strategic partners who were riding on the ‘politics of terrorism’ and through secret protocols of Sri Lanka with India and certain other countries. Besides Colombo, the Indian Establishment undertook its own initiative in this respect. A small example is the treatment of the diaspora Eezham Tamils like Pakistanis in visa matters, curtailing their sociocultural contacts with India.

What the global powers fail to see or don’t want to see is that no meaningful solution to the human crisis of Tamils can come from the existing realities in the island of Sri Lanka. The majoritarianism and the deep divide of the ethnicities resulting from decades of savage war cannot be remedied by coercive or foxy arrangements made within the existing nation state or its system.

If there is no conducive will power or structural reality within Sri Lanka to bring out a meaningful solution to the crisis, it has to be brought in from outside by the international system. But the powers, which rather prefer to show all their might with the already oppressed Eezham Tamils, have no guts when it comes to upholding their liberation. Accepting their national independence is a time-tested remedy of the civilized world.

If a unitary Sri Lanka and Sinhala nationalism of the existing model are going to be the outcome of the current deliberations, the struggle of Eezham Tamils will continue until their self-determination is asserted, integrity of their land is guaranteed, freedom from aggression is achieved and until they are able to develop themselves and interact with the outside world in ways they choose.

End of war, peace and the process of development in the island of Sri Lanka now depend heavily on judicious intervention of the International Community.

Meanwhile, a historic responsibility rests on the people and leaders of Tamil Nadu.

The people of India, whatever state or ethnicity the may be belonging to, are not at all against the oppressed Eezham Tamils getting their liberation. The people of India have gone through a great tradition of national liberation movement. They can always understand with sympathy the plight of the people of a national struggle. They have demonstrated this quality on various occasions earlier, with regard to several other instances of national struggles in different parts of the world.

It is actually a small group of people in the Delhi Establishment and a few individuals who are either personally biased or are averse to the concept of the nationhood of Eezham Tamils.

Sri Lanka watchers in recent years couldn’t help wondering whether the current spate of war is merely abetted by the Indian Establishment of in fact perpetrated by it.

A ‘think-tanker’ of a Delhi organization wrote a couple of days ago in a Sri Lankan newspaper, about the ‘trust deficiency’ of the LTTE making the international community and India unwilling to deal with it. In fact it is exactly the same problem Tamils find with Sinhala polity for nearly a century, and lately with India in post- Indra times.

What perhaps the ‘think-tanker’ implies is that Mahinda is trust worthy to IC and India, because they ‘share views’ on Sri Lanka and there is nothing to deceive. But LTTE cannot be considered trust worthy by them because it is just deceit what they could afford to offer when it comes to the fundamental aspirations of Tamils.

Sinhala political circles, which were never a party to chauvinistic policies, have already raised doubts whether the anticipated move for a superficial political solution is also staged-managed by India. If so, the Congress establishment of India and its policy makers are heading for another misery and going to leave that legacy to the next government as they did before, a reminiscent of 1987.

It is not too late even now for them to mend their ways at least for the sake of their own political interest, if not the interest of the country.

India venturing either directly or indirectly at a political solution for Eezham Tamils without addressing basic Tamil aspirations and gaining full confidence of the Tamil masses and the Tamil nationalist leadership is likely to turn out a disaster.

If the present Indian Establishment is not capable of listening to the will of the people and insists on its autocratic ways, people and leaders of Tamil Nadu should unitedly see that it doesn’t come to power in the next elections. The Tamil Nadu public opinion should also brief and cultivate the leaders of the alternative government now itself to address the cause of the Eezham Tamils favourably and genuinely.

It is the earnest hope of all Tamils all over the world that the leaders of Tamil Nadu act in complete unison forgetting all differences during such an emergency.

 

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