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Saturday, 22 September 2018
Saturday, 22 September 2018 | Sri Lanka Watch
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Transnational Tamils do not speak for Tamils in Sri Lanka PDF Print E-mail
By Victor Karunairajan

A community cannot be taken for a ride by fake, farce and charade such as a government of a transnational state; that is for promoters of myths and fables. Tamils in Sri Lanka devastated in their thousands need facilities and help for economic reconstruction and development. Pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora must be severely warned by their respective governments to desist from fanning Tiger terrorism in their new homelands.   

A year ago a six-decade civil conflict of cold-blooded communal contentions and controversies and thirty years of a horrendous civil war came to conclusion with an intolerable loss of thousands of innocent civilian lives. This is the toll Prabhakaran and his terror contraption extracted as they finally got wiped out. His obdurate obstinacy and opulent lifestyle never gave a chance for a political solution. Historians for decades will comment and contend whether such an awesome price was needed to bring to end the ruthless campaign of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam LTTE).

Why was not a political solution possible ever since the S W R D Bandaranaike Government sparked off a communal conflict with the insensitive Sinhala Only legislation that led to a series of racial violence, the July 1983 riots being the decisive moment of the most horrific slur and slight on Sri Lanka’s claim as a democratic state? The country where the urban elite ruled the roost, was bankrupt in statesmanship

The shocking element in this is certainly the fact that the UNP Government of President J R Jaywareene had a major hand in the atrocities perpetrated against the Tamils. He was further facilitated by the intransigency of Prabhakaran who by now had assumed the stature of an instant folklore hero bent on tit for tat politics based on violent reprisals to the tactics of the police and military forces who too were brutal and ruthless. It was violence that begat violence and soon it became an uncontrollable plague. How many precious and innocent lives have been lost as a result and Sri Lanka’s development immensely affected and put back by decades?

There were Sinhala politicians hooked on racism, Junius Jayawardene being one who wanted a final solution; and among the Tamils a demand for a separate Eelam state began to gather grounds. The tragic aspect was that both were not necessary; should never have even been considered as a solution. We cannot go back to pre-civilization ages to ape how certain tribal people of those times sorted such problems out.
Today as we survey the scenario, a year after the Wanni campaign, the victims of the last sixty years have been innocent people of all the Sri Lankan communities who had no voice in the politics of the country even from day on February 4, 1948 when Sri Lanka became an independent state.

On certain occasions they had a momentary glory casting a vote but apart from that they were mere minions of no consequence and politicians, hardly any of them with anything statesmanlike about them, called the tune. Far too often they were ridden with corrupt intentions. Some even fanned up the goondas and urged them to serve their ill-conceived goals; ruthless violence was the means to it.

Tamils on the other hand flirted with Prabhakaran and armed him recklessly and encouraged him to seek no political solution. He persisted in this determination because it served his dream of creating a mafia state in South Asia.

What is incredible here is that the two extreme factors supporting violence against the Tamils and terrorism against the Sinhalese were a very small minority of racists on both sides serving interests that are selfish and against the best interests of the country.

Since 1983 in respect of refugees, the concept became totally indefinable. No doubt the Tamils who lived outside the north and east especially in Colombo and its suburbs took the brunt of the racial venom that was expressed in loot, arson and murder July 1983 and became the focus of a shocked world community. Those who were privileged, well connected and influential seized the opportunity and fled the country and to begin with, they were pampered by governments in the west and non-governmental organizations, and were helped to establish themselves in their new homes.

Unfortunately, to a large majority of them the people back home who were the real refugees hardly mattered. They were the thousands who fled to the southern coasts of Tamilnadu in India and are still languishing there. They have no voice to speak for them not even from Tamilnadu politicians who made hay with the LTTE Thousands of others became displaced in Sri Lanka and it has taken a long time to seek solutions for them. Sri Lankan politicians have virtually ignored their plight.

The LTTE found the people who fled to the developed countries of the world an ideal source to support them with funds for arms but more importantly to serve Prabhakaran’s ultimate goal of a powerful underworld operations in arms, drugs and a whole series of despicable activities for which it was important to maintain the status quo of the racial divide of the country as hot and as vicious as possible.

Into these also stepped in certain countries making Sri Lanka an arena for geopolitical interests and some international organizations that needed to rock the cradle by pinching the baby. As the Tiger clout developed, Prabhakaran needed not only arms but also a fighting force and he recruited them using the only means he was wont to; and that was sheer terror and violence.  He even went to the extreme level of plucking kids to initiate them into his army and when parents resisted, he had given orders to shoot them if necessary. And these children and young people were forcibly extracted from people who had no voice in the affairs of the country

Ironically they are the farmers, fishers and low level workers, the only wealth producing sectors of the country as against the elite who set the pace for rampant consumerism that hardly helps towards economic development of the country. .

Prabhakaran was able to have his way because he had the support of the Tamil Diaspora, the pseudo refugees who had made it good for themselves and without facing the negative consequences of the civil war in Sri Lanka. These Tamils pumped in funds for the LTTE. Even more, as people with a refugee status, they had learnt to milk the various governments on some pretext or other and enriched themselves with hardly any support given to the real refugees in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, this helped them to encourage more of their relatives to leave Sri Lanka and this to a large extent drained the community of its educated and skilled cadre thus compounding further the needy circumstances of the Tamils in Sri Lanka.

In Canada, the Tamil Eelam Society is a repugnant and revolting example of how some people were able to hoodwink the federal and provincial governments for millions of dollars and make personal gains for them. There were other organizations too who were able to exploit this situation supported by Tamil tabloid weeklies who kept on crying wolf about racism in Sri Lanka as a perpetual lament. Most of such funds stayed in Canada or were spent on arms for the LTTE.  

But hardly any of these people are interested in the fate of the victimized thousands in Sri Lanka and even one year after the civil war came to an end, they have not shown any interest in helping them to come out of their miseries caused by it. In fact, they are determined to keep the Tiger myth alive and would do anything to revive it as an ongoing tragedy. It is how their interests can be served.

Among many problems facing the Tamils in Sri Lanka one of them is the horrific situation of 100,000children and young people who have been traumatized by the civil war. Which Tamil organization among the Tamil Diaspora has gone to their rescue?

At this time when so many groups wedded to LTTE’s stand, seem so earnest to mark May 18 as a day of great importance, even assembling themselves in Washington DC in the US, Queen’s Park in Toronto and Parliament Square in London for some kind of demonstration as well as the formation of what they call a transnational government following an election farce, it is important for the Tamils anywhere to know that the views expressed at these tamasha events are not those of the Tamils in Sri Lanka.

The very Tamil youths Prabhakaran forcibly armed were not Tamil Diaspora children. While the former perished in their thousands, the latter are living in comfortable and even luxurious circumstances and nearly all of them will never return to Sri Lanka. The development of the traditional homelands of the Tamils, the recognition of which is what we must pursue, is dependent on the young people there. If the Tamils living overseas have any love for their people in Sri Lanka and in their welfare, they have to fight off all the charlatan counterfeits now so dominant in their determination to rekindle terrorism, and opt for helping their peers in Sri Lanka towards becoming citizens with their fundamental rights entrenched.

They need means for development and not arms for destruction. May 18 must mark a day for a new hope and not to perpetuate violent myths and fables of fake and farce.  

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