Feature Article

Continuing ‘counter insurgency’ approach to chronic national question

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 23 June 2010, 11:41 GMT]
Colombo’s latest deployment of Selvarasa Pathmanathan (KP), a victim of circumstances, to blunt the Eezham Tamil struggle only reveals that ‘counter insurgency’ is the style continued to be envisaged by some powers in approaching the chronic national question in the island, commented Tamil circles watching the developments. The move, bereft of any political promises, but aiming at roping in the diaspora for ‘development,’ comes after the visit of G L Peiris to Washington, Robert Blake lamenting that still “some polarisation” exists in the island and amidst heavy visits of dignitaries in the last couple of weeks. The move is not surprising. It is a sequence of a long-existing design, operated simultaneously through good and ugly faces of the West, observers said. The KP operation in Colombo is handled by a controversial group of foreign-trained Sri Lankan military intelligence personnel.

The latest move of contacting Tamil national activists through KP, knowing their background and position, was to talk about getting ‘diaspora money’ and to give a message that if they don’t come to terms the masters know how to rope in the diaspora.

The approach is to handle the diaspora ‘batch by batch.’

While KP discussion was going on, another diaspora group closely working with Douglas Devananda was also holding ‘meetings’ in Colombo.

In the talks with the diaspora, while the position of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was that the past should not be reopened and only the future should be discussed, G L Pieris maintained that nothing could be said on any political solution since the Sinhalese people have not given any mandate for the government for it, informed circles said.

The Tamil diaspora meekly coming forward to work with the government without any commitment from the government side now could only pave way for gradual future prospects, is the position of the ‘winners,’ Tamil circles said.

The ‘home grown’ solution of Mahinda Rajapaksa is to complete the structural genocide of Eezham Tamils in their very homeland, is known to everybody.

Yet Colombo is encouraged in its bullying approach to the diaspora by the prospects provided to it by the international system dominated by some powers, allowing the blackmail of Tamil nation through the use of the card of surviving cadres in captivity and the plight of the common people.

Colombo plays unawareness of the fate of veteran personalities of the political side of the LTTE, like Baby Subramaiam, V. Balakumaran, Yogaratnam Yogi, Lawrance Thilagar, Puthuvai Ratnadurai and so on, who were seen getting into government hands. There is fear what the Sri Lankan government has done to them.

The United States has all the ‘evidence’ to persecute Colombo, but it will use them to barter interests with the Sinhala state, Tamil circles said.

During the height of the war, the then US ambassador in Colombo, who talked about ‘strategic partnership’ with India, now as Asst. Secretary of State admits that the USA and India have worked very closely throughout the last several years on the situation in Sri Lanka.

Of course, India worked in the same line and now has bartered the Tamil national question for land and economic treaties in the island. Observers point out that Mahinda Rajapaksa not even reciprocated to India’s call to implement the rotten 13th Amendment.

Speculating on some new prospects involving the West, bilateral treaties with several countries and footed firmly on the hope for steadfast support of China, it is doubtful that Sri Lanka would be signing the CEPA treaty with India, media circles in Colombo said.

All Colombo politicians think Tamil Nadu politics is a joke, not capable of coming out with serious geopolitical or ideological challenges to them.

When Colombo deploys Douglas-KP mechanism, how the Indian backed TNA is going to face it is the question.

All political organisations democratically built by the diaspora for the Tamil national cause are now vilified not only by Colombo and by the ‘counter insurgency’ organs, but KP himself denounces them, Tamil circles in touch with him said.

Mr. Rudrakumaran of Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam recently said not to expect any changes in the attitude of the international community.

As long as Eezham Tamils voice for their national cause the voice should be persecuted is perhaps the attitude.

The TGTE, which was envisaged by the diaspora as a novel and noble concept for the struggle of Tamils and for their international polity, could be the next target in the game, if it doesn’t guard itself.

Some Eezham Tamil elite, sceptical of the conspiracy of the benign-faced institutions in the West they worked for, may be convinced now that ‘counter insurgency’ was their approach not only in blunting the national liberation struggle of Eezham Tamils, but also in experimenting how to prevent diaspora in general becoming a potential new phenomenon of global polity.

Only in this sense, the Eezham Tamils were treated as a ‘test case’ by the outfits that were operating for years.

A Sinhala leftist in Europe recounts what a Tamil NGO activist who is involved in ‘political organisation’ told him a few months before the Mu’l’livaaykkaal massacre that the LTTE leadership had already been ‘replaced’ and not to count on them anymore.

KP, before his ‘kidnap’, was keen that the USA and India should not be criticized.

Immediately after the kidnap of KP by Colombo, D B S Jeyaraj writing a long profile of him came out with a hint. According to Jeyaraj the episode couldn’t have taken place without the knowledge of an international intelligence agency that was protecting KP for long.

KP continued trying to influence the diaspora political organisation.

‘Counter insurgency’ writers like Rohan Gunaratna, who is in the game since early 1980s and Jeyaraj who joined it later do a great service to Tamils. Often writing alike, both of them are ‘time-tested’ in their promotions and vilifications, helping even ordinary Tamils to smell out who is who and what is what in the right perspective.

Knowing very well that Nediyavan is inactive there is vilification in his name. The idea is actually against Tamils organizing any independent politics.

Victims of circumstances can’t be independent leaders of Tamil politics. They may play the role of historical link, but a new generation, especially a younger generation should open its eyes to the realities and take over.

The new paradigm is three-power involvement in the island. How far going behind any one of them alone would help the cause of Tamils is a question. Rather the Tamils should concentrate on building at least a core independent polity and must start negotiating with every one. That independence is of paramount importance.

Tamil polity should also forge a close working programme with progressive Sinhala forces that see the reality of achieving real reconciliation and independence in the island by conceding sovereignty to Tamils as a first step. Their number may be small today, but building relationship with them is essential for the refinement of the liberation struggle.

Reconciliation can’t come through ‘counter insurgency’ measures. That will only widen the rift.

War crimes investigation is another drama enacted by some powers, which individually negotiate for economic interests in the island. This goes on side by side with their counter insurgency moves against the political struggle of Tamil nationalism.

How to conduct credible international investigation of war crimes when the affected side is silenced, captured and banned?

Even top capitals of the world and the UN itself can’t escape if a real war crimes investigation is conducted not on both sides but on all sides.

What the Eezham Tamils demand is not the eyewash of war crimes investigation, but an international commission of inquiry on the decades-long genocide of Tamils in the island and on the justification of their national liberation, to facilitate international delivery of political justice to match the norms of human civilisation.



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