Feature Article

Sitrampalam proves self-determination not a diaspora fantasy

[TamilNet, Saturday, 24 September 2011, 05:24 GMT]
Prof SK Sitrampalam, Senior Vice President of Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK), writing in Thinakkural this month on the importance of Eezham Tamils asserting to their right to self-determination, disproved a distorting campaign by Colombo, New Delhi, Washington, international crisis managers and even the UN panel report trying to tell that this right is not an aspiration of the Tamils in the island but only in the diaspora. While the concerted campaigners assert to their audacity without seeking a referendum and while the Eezham Tamils in the island are constitutionally and militarily gagged to open mouth on the issue, the bold voice of Sitrampalam coming from the island was highly appreciated by many. Today, Tamils in the island are left to feel more compellingly for liberation than Tamils in the diaspora, Tamil political circles said.

S. K. Sitrampalam
Prof Sitrampalam in his article appeared on 11 and 18 of this month in Thinakkural, Colombo, was highly critical of the political unpreparedness of the TNA leadership in taking up the issue of the right to self-determination of Eezham Tamils with New Delhi.

He was citing a recent meeting of Tamil political parties convened by a Congress politician, Dr. Natchiappan in New Delhi, and accused that the TNA in its eagerness to save its ‘holdings’ in India, dubiously wronged long-standing Tamil aspirations.

Sitrampalam appreciated the steady role played by All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) in New Delhi. ACTC did what the TNA should have done, he said.

Sitrampalam traced the political call for the Tamil right to self-determination from the 1944 Communist Party resolution, 1951 national conference of the ITAK (Federal Party) and 1976 Vaddukkoaddai Resolution to 1985 Thimbu Talks and 2002 CFA.

Asking why the TNA should deviate now, Sitrampalam says the reason is the infiltration of TNA by certain elements not conducive to the long legacy of the Tamil national struggle.

At a crucial time, the TNA should not turn treacherous to the efforts of the people of Tamil Nadu and the diaspora, Sitramplam points out.

If the TNA could firmly assert itself to the fundamentals such as, the Tamil nation, its homeland and its right to self determination, even India cannot simply ignore them, Sitrampalam argues, adding that the TNA would be kicked out by the people if it compromises with the fundamentals.

* * *

Meanwhile, the dangers Prof. Sitrampalam discusses don’t stop with TNA and New Delhi, diaspora activists pointed out, citing the presence of Western equivalents of Natchiappans working for the agenda of Washington in the name of ‘silent diplomacy’.

What failed in New Delhi will be tried in some other form in the West this time, with the involvement of a section of diaspora elements that have more faith in ‘behind the scene activities’ than in mobilising people’s struggle, the diaspora activists said.

Of the two architects of the Tamil genocide, New Delhi and Washington, at least New Delhi is comparatively well exposed and is significantly checked nowadays, thanks to the people of Tamil Nadu, even though it is said that there are fresh oppressions initiated now against the voices of the grassroot in Tamil Nadu.

But, the diaspora is yet to do its share about Washington, especially the diaspora in the USA is the most backward of all the Tamil diaspora in this regard, the activists said.

The diaspora activists cited to the silence of the US diaspora in re-mandating the Vaddukkoaddai Resolution when all others did that. They pointed out at the pathetic performance of democracy by the US diaspora in forming the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam.

The activists asked why the US diaspora is not exposing, indicting and rising up against the Establishment in Washington and against architects like Robert Blake who paved way, and are paving way, for the Tamil genocide.

In the opinion of the diaspora activists who were commenting to TamilNet, the imbalance caused by the diaspora not rising up against the Establishments in the West that were equally culpable as that of India, will not compliment the people’s struggle mounting up in Tamil Nadu.

The Eezham Tamil diaspora in the US could contribute better and could set a paradigm by aligning with the sizeable Tamil Nadu diaspora and other likeminded diaspora in the US, in making the question universal and rising up against the US establishment in demanding a change in the outlook, the activists said.

The larger Eezham Tamil diaspora of a different social composition in Canada may have to take care of the diaspora in the US, they said.

The diaspora may have to realise that the question of Eezham Tamils has become one that of universal importance and justice. Rather than entering into a people’s struggle against the real forces responsible for the misery, pinning hopes on individually dealing with it behind the screen with the same forces that commit the crime, will not work, the diaspora activists said, adding that filing cases against petty war criminals is not a compensation for the failure in rising up against the Establishments demanding for the right to self-determination.

* * *

The following were comments from TamilNet political commentator in Colombo:

The war crimes investigations and the question of independence or self-determination of Eezham Tamils are not two different issues as differentiated especially by the Establishments in the West, which are implying that the war crimes investigations are for the sake of ‘post-war reconciliation’ in a ‘united Sri Lanka’.

Everybody, including the designers and abettors of the war, knows well that the entire reason for the crime-filled war in the island was not ‘terrorism’ but denial of liberation to a people long suffering from genocide. Otherwise, the end of the war and the annihilation of the LTTE should have ended the genocide of Eezham Tamils and should have brought in liberation to them through political means.

The primary war crime therefore actually stems from denying the existence of genocide and this was committed and is being committed by all those who ‘do not see’ genocide by State in the island.

All the actors know well that the way the post-war ‘reconciliation’ is taking place, unless there is international action, the annihilation of Eezham Tamils as a nation is certain sooner or later. But they allow the process, committing further and further crimes.

They also know very well that the war crimes investigations deliberated and manipulated by them at every stage, to become a long drawn-out one, is not going to bring in the needed justice to the Eezham Tamils.

It is increasingly exposed that besides the personalities in the island who practically committed the crimes in waging the genocidal war, there were a few international names that had key involvement in the process undertaken by all the powers and 30 odd countries.

The names of Robert Blake of the USA, Erik Solheim of Norway, MK Narayanan and Shiv Shankar Menon of India, and Ban Ki Moon and Vijay Nambiar of the UN, known to the outside world, are just a tip of the iceberg.

They might have just played the role of CEOs of the design, but they are the key witnesses in any genuine international investigation to tell the world what forces were operating behind them in setting blatant genocide as paradigm for the international system. They all continue to occupy official positions.

* * *

An objection raised by Sri Lanka’s Attorney General Mohan Peiris at Geneva against international investigation of war crimes was that why Sri Lanka alone and why not Afghanistan and Iran. Cuba echoed it.

No one can deny that war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq have to be investigated for justice. But the crucial question is whether imperialist wars are equated with genocidal wars of States that are chronically obsessed with genocide. In other words, whether genocidal wars waged by such States have become integral part of imperialist wars, or perhaps is it that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are perceived as larger genocidal wars against global Muslims?

The West is answerable to Eezham Tamils for failing to place the case of Eezham Tamils as a case of genocide and for Sri Lanka successfully making undue advantage of this failure.

The US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is particularly answerable for the US-created deliberate twist still haunting Eezham Tamils, because it is she who wanted to differentiate nationalist wars from ‘terrorist’ wars, before coming to power.

If genocidal wars and imperialist wars are going to be equated then the world will sure plunge into a deeper international crisis, affecting thousands of nations in the world. It is unfortunate that a country like Cuba is strangely on the side of imperialists rather than opening an avenue for all war-threatened peoples all over the world through pursuing war crimes against Sri Lanka.

* * *

As Prof Neelson pointed out in Geneva this week, Eezham Tamils have to be cautious in trusting the West – in trusting secret diplomacies, as they are always meant for dishonest ends or for blunting the cause.

The escape route of those who committed the crimes and those who want genocide to be an accepted international paradigm is making the Eezham Tamils to accept subjugation, to give up the aspiration of liberation or the right to self-determination, even if they suffer from genocide.

Prof Neelson may say that Eezham Tamils should keep the right to self-determination as a long-term goal, as it is not on the cards. But, Eezham Tamils even symbolically side-tracking their right to self determination is the one that gives victory, impunity and escape to war criminals. It will be the one that will help international war criminals to pursue genocide as a paradigm.

The call for self-determination by Eezham Tamils is therefore not merely for the sake of the liberation of Eezham Tamils. It is of great universal significance for the entire world. Nations and peoples all over the world should understand the significance and help Eezham Tamils in upholding the call for the right to self-determination – not in dropping it even for the time being.

But the most important requirement is that the TNA in the island and TGTE, GTF and the country councils in the diaspora, carried away by ‘secret diplomacy,’ should not sit on the uprising of Eezham Tamils in the island and in the diaspora. They may be committing the greatest blunder not only to Eezham Tamils but also to entire humanity of future.

History of humanity tells us, what wars and negotiation tables could not achieve were finally achieved only by universal uprisings and revolutions of peoples – not by mere rebellions that would be brutally suppressed.

The path Eezham Tamils and global Tamils are going to take depend very much on how the Establishments are going to respond to the question of the independence or right to self-determination of Eezham Tamils – whether all-out onslaught again or accommodation in appropriate spirit.

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