Opinion Article

Expecting hostile diaspora to buttress a collapsing state

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 24 March 2009, 02:21 GMT]
"Engaging the diaspora for any solution is possible only when humanitarian assistance and protection reach their brethren, war is called off, Tamil self-determination in the island of Sri Lanka is recognized and the LTTE is de-proscribed. Above all, accepting the reality of the crisis that it is a national liberation struggle and seeking solutions not insisting on a united Sri Lanka will tremendously help to ease the situation and even reconciliation," writes Opinion Columnist Chivanadi.

The Sri Lankan state is at the verge of collapse due to two factors, internal and external.

The doom of the state foreseen at the very outset owing to its inherent factor, i.e. the rule of the ethnic majority, is quickened to reach to its culmination by the current war being waged by the present government.

As a result, a section of the people claimed as citizens by the Sri Lankan state have completely been alienated beyond reconciliation. The state has now reached a frustrating point that it can only attempt subjugation of these people if possible, but can never meet them to their face, after all what it did to them.

As the concerned people also have a homeland, the state has alienated itself from a part of its land as well. The state may attempt to militarily occupy it, may try to keep the people of the land indefinitely in camps and may try to change the demography, but these are not attributes of a state. This is like conquering and maintaining a colony, which is not possible in contemporary times and that too in the given context.

As the state from the very inception based itself on the perspectives of the rule of ethnic majority and has strengthened it through the process of war, any attempt to lay a different foundation now will only backfire at those at the helm of affairs, even if they are forced to do so.

The process of the war has eroded the productive infrastructure of the country, made it dependable on aid and forced it to pawn its economic resources and institutions to outsiders. The state has lost its independent economic viability.

The war, especially the current phase of war, has coerced and destabilized all vital institutions of the state, such as legislature by intimidation of political opposition, executive by placing armed forces above civil service and judiciary by making a mockery of it through impunity.

It is everybody’s knowledge that human rights, the basic guarantee a state can provide to its citizens and independent media, the watchdog of the state system, don’t exist in the Sri Lankan state anymore.

Internally the state has lost its citizen-support from an identifiable section, to an extent that they don’t anymore believe in patchwork, but want to see an end to this state. A stage has reached making Sri Lanka not viable as one state.

The external factor that has contributed and is contributing to the collapse of the Sri Lankan state is the role played, and being played, by India and certain world powers.

They encouraged and abetted the Sri Lankan government to wage the war on the platform of ‘war on terrorism’, knowing very well that the problem lies elsewhere, and the war may acquire genocidal proportions.

They gave money, arms and diplomatic support to Colombo’s military option, abandoning political option, knowing very well that a political solution is not possible in the Sri Lankan context, after the military option.

Time to time they patted on the back and eulogized Sri Lanka’s military for its ‘victories’, knowing very well that the war will not end by these ‘victories’.

They helped and even canvassed the purchase, intimidation and silencing of politicians, knowing very well it would harm the democratic institutions in the island.

They overlooked, paid only lip services and never acted on the human rights abuses and assault on media, fully aware of the damages inflicted on the very foundations of state in the island.

Even at this stage they don’t want to stop the war, knowing very well the intensity of civilian casualties, and the plight of civilians in the concentration camps even when they leave the war zone.

They also sit on UN, the apex body of humanity in sorting out the matter.

One of them, India, is keenly working on cultivating quislings, knowing very well that they don’t represent the people concerned.

The advisors of the Indian Establishment tell that LTTE is the problem in India helping Tamils, knowing very well that the LTTE is the only fighting force of Tamils, upholding their aspirations, and any deal has to be actually struck with it.

On the contrary, India and certain powers want to see ‘fight to the end’, eliminating the LTTE and in the process pitch the Sri Lankan state into perpetual turmoil.

Such is the haste and greed of the powers that want to capitalize on the internal weakness of the Sri Lankan state to insinuate their interests.

Sri Lanka also has become a testing ground for sounding the effectiveness of the ‘global order’ of the strategic partners.

Experimenting with guinea pigs may be acceptable to people at some levels, but they should have the honesty and integrity to concede and call off when the experiment goes wrong. Otherwise they will be risking themselves becoming guinea pigs in the experiments of human civilization.

The attitude of some researchers in the publications of the Strategic Studies Institute of US Army War College is to look at the crisis in the island not in the perspectives of a liberation struggle against a genocidal state, but as something for the US to learn lessons in counterinsurgency warfare.

Knowingly or unknowingly the powers have laid a trap for the Sri Lankan state to bite the bait ‘war on terrorism’.

Now it is the Sri Lankan state that is internationally exposed for its terrorism and frenzy with which it defies all institutions of human civilization.

The international abettors are also exposed for their misplaced experiment in the island.

On the contrary, the LTTE is fast acquiring a global image as a symbol of bold resistance against all forces of oppression. It will be more successful than ever, even if it has to turn to guerilla war.

Sri Lanka is destined to capitulate its unitary state.

Money and arms may pour in, but none can make this Humpy Dumpy to mend it ways or to be in one unitary piece again.

There are reports that the Indian Establishment facing elections in May and frenzied over its agenda in the island, has given an ultimatum to Colombo to fight the war to the end, before mid April, however brutal the ways may be.

It is going to be a second debacle, perhaps a more fatal debacle for Indian interests in the island.

“By allowing Rajapaksa a freehand in defeating the Tigers without any move on the political solution, Delhi has further shrunk its political and strategic space in Sri Lanka”, wrote Gen. Ashok Mehta, an IPKF veteran in Sunday Times, 22nd March.

The other powers are either deliberately slow or procrastinate in responding to the realities.

Nowadays the world of international politics has lost the charm of coming out with refreshingly alternative views. It is always a boring chorus of the strategic partners.

The chorus now is to facilitate the end of civilians in internment camps.

Without specifying anything, they want Colombo to come out with a political package, meeting the ‘aspirations of all Sri Lankans’, which may look a mockery of realities but tells us clearly that they don’t differentiate between grief and greed. Rhetorically they call for international monitoring but there are no evidences to believe that they are serious about it until Colombo completes its agenda.

The latest voice joining the chorus is that of the Australian Foreign Minister.

They still have the audacity of not calling for the end of war or full ceasefire, but want the Tamil diaspora to be on their side in sending the civilians to prison camps.

This is a diaspora simmering with anger for all the injustices committed on their kith and kin at home and for casting an image of terrorists onto them just because they supported a liberation struggle of their people.

The Sri Lankan state may be holy and precious to the powers, but it doesn’t exist in the minds of this diaspora.

Engaging the diaspora for any solution is possible only when humanitarian assistance and protection reach their brethren, war is called off, Tamil self-determination in the island of Sri Lanka is recognized and the LTTE is de-proscribed.

Above all, accepting the reality of the crisis that it is a national liberation struggle and seeking solutions not insisting on a united Sri Lanka will tremendously help to ease the situation and even reconciliation.

External Links:
Sunday Times: Indian Army back in medical garb, but is Delhi losing grip on Lanka?


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