Colombo, Constitutional Reform, Peace and Conflict, Politics and Governance

Is this the end of the Tamil struggle?

For reasons I shall explain later I don’t think what we see at present marks the end of the Tamil struggle for independence. The popular perception may well end up in a mirage.  Clearly, a new chapter of the Tamil campaign is in the making, and the signs are that the next episode is going to be even more formidable than the Tamil Tigers’ mini-state project.  With South India’s full backing – also, with the international community’s blessings – the Tamils are going to press for just two options: either a confederation or total separation.

Ironically, Sri Lanka’s ruthless war aimed at crushing Tamil separatism seems to have triggered a phenomenon that has strengthened the Tamils’ resolve for independence as never before. In other words, if the Sinhala leaders’ target was to save the country from splitting into two, the war has set a process in motion that may bring about exactly the opposite result.

Quite apart from adding one more to the list of examples that expose the global institutions’ hypocrisy and the resultant impotence in tackling barbaric wars by ‘state-terrorists’, this war has demonstrated before the world in no uncertain terms why Tamils cannot live under the Sinhala rule. In other words, the war has unambiguously legitimised the Tamils’ demand for independence.

The terminology and the logic Sri Lankan leaders used in public to justify the war to the world have unwittingly betrayed the chauvinist mindset behind the government’s war strategy. Sri Lanka’s military chief Lt. General Sarath Fonseka said: “I strongly believe that this country belongs to the Sinhalese; but there’re minority communities and we treat them like our people….They can live in this country with us, but they must not try to, under the pretext of being a minority, demand undue things.”

[I wonder what the Scots would have done if the British Prime Minister said something similar about the English majority…oops, I’m sorry, British PM, Gordon Brown, is a Scotsman!]

The Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said: “In any democratic country the majority should rule the country. This country will be ruled by the Sinhalese community which is the majority representing 74% of the population.”

[Ironically, the London parliament had to offer a separate parliament to the Scottish region precisely for a similar reason. The Scottish people kept on voting the Labour party while the English majority continued to put Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative party to power. Scots became furious and their campaign for a separate state began to strengthen in leaps. The separate Scottish parliament was the result.]

How could such politicians replace a supremacist system – that produced Tamil separatism in the first place – with a new constitution that respects individual and national rights? I don’t think they can – particularly not in the present context when the rulers’ toxic mindset is mixed with soaring war hysteria.
Thus, I predict, crushing of the Tigers’ mini-state solves nothing. With or without Prabakaran, the Tamil struggle is bound to move forward in a far more sophisticated form – this time with an explicitly separatist agenda whole-heartedly backed by people all over the world, more relevantly by millions of Tamils in South India. And, the Tamils will not need a mini-state to convince the world of their campaign’s legitimacy.

The war’s sheer brutality has created new realities:

Rising rage among Tamils all over the world, particularly among the Tamil Diaspora’s second-generation youth, seem to surpass the Muslim anger over the dragging middle-east wars.

The South Indian Tamils now support the Tamil case for separation as never before. Jayalalitha’s unprecedented rhetoric during India’s election campaign – to militarily intervene in Sri Lanka and help Tamils get an independent Tamil Eelam, like India did in Bangladesh – is the clearest indication of this new phenomenon. Remember, this rising mood in India coincides with Indian ruling elite’s increasing awareness of China’s strategic schemes in Sri Lanka. India knows why China went to remarkable lengths to assist Sri Lanka’s war effort financially and militarily. [Read the Times-On-Line article in the Sri Lanka section of www.lankaeye.com under my heading: Who was behind Sri Lanka’s dazzling military success against Tamil Tigers.]

Quite apart from the changing Indian politics, the Sri Lankan government has definitively lost the propaganda war internationally – not just among global leaders but ordinary masses in general. Sri Lanka’s image is likely to remain tarnished as a rogue state for the foreseeable future. And, from now on the world’s perception of the Tamil struggle could become far more favourable than ever before.

Tamils living inside and outside the so-called welfare camps in Sri Lanka will be quiet for the time being for obvious reasons. But, their rage will continue to fester jeopardising the chances of winning Tamils’ hearts and minds for a very long time.

The crux of the matter is this: These new realities have emerged at a time when 95% of the Sinhala army is stuck in Tamil towns for the foreseeable future and the Sri Lankan economy is facing nightmarish prospects in the midst of the worst global economic downturn since 1930s.

If the government thought it could end the security nightmare that stifled Sri Lanka’s economy for so long by militarily defeating Tigers’ conventional army and occupying the ‘Tigerland’, they are mistaken. Unless there’s a substantial transformation of the post-colonial state structures – which the present government (as I argued above) is incapable of carrying out – the situation would deteriorate further in the coming months. Cosmetic devolution of power to provincial councils – while the centre remains firmly in the “Sinhala hands” – will not tackle the problem.

The most likely post-war scenario would not, in my view, be a peaceful one. Economic calamities, labour unrest, attacks on media institutions and political dissent, rise of “urban warfare” and state-terrorism and disappearances are likely to be the hallmarks of the foreseeable future. It is with this kind of tragic picture in mind I wrote my last article “A Common Programme for a United Left Front in Sri Lanka” [www.groundviews.com], in which I pointed out the importance of all Sri Lanka’s socialist parties forming a united front under the banner of a clear political and economic programme for fundamental change in the country.

However, it is important to realize that none of what we leftists promise in the south is going to impress the Tamils in Sri Lanka or abroad – and understandably so. They have undergone too much oppression since independence under chauvinist regimes.

Under Ceylon Tamil Congress, the Tamils of newly liberated Ceylon looked for an equality-based solution within a unitary state. When that failed, the Federal Party launched non-violent campaigns for a federal solution which were violently crushed by chauvinist regimes. Finally, the LTTE-led separatist armed-struggle emerged to challenge the Sinhala establishment militarily. This led to decades of destructive war which culminated in the present war effort inflicting untold sufferings on Tamils in order to destroy the separatists’ mini-state.

Now on the Tamil side a worldwide campaign for a separate state is in the making and nothing we say is going to convince them until they see the change in the flesh. Thus, it will be the duty of the left to respect the Tamils right to self-determination as the first step towards winning their hearts and minds – which the chauvinists have ruined – and tirelessly work to rebuild the lost trust and achieve a socialist republic of Sri Lanka & Tamil Eelam.

  • It is very clear that the Tamils will create Tamil Eelam soon. Even those countries that do not like Eelam now will like it as a political solution. There are many reasons for it.

    Why did the Sinhala government suddenly turn vicious, disrespectful to international leaders, defiant, inhuman and genocidal to Tamils? Why does it broadcast lies to the world and fool the people? And why are the dead bodies of soldiers not mostly given a descent burial and relatives are told that the dead had “run away” and are missing?

    An English proverb says ” Tell me your friends and I will tell you who you are” The friends of Sri Lanka(SL) now are Russia, China and Pakistan. These countries have changed the character of Mahinda and the Sinhala people en masse.

    Russia tried a coup plot in Georgia this week. It killed Chechens like flies in the past and did maximum rights violations. It has installed its puppet as political head in Chechenya. Russia thinks that it has solved the Chechen problem for self determination but it is far from over. Chechen rebels are now in Afghanistan. They’ll soon come in numbers and surprise Russia.

    Russia wanted a companion for its state terrorism and so it roped in Mahinda and gave advice to follow its footsteps.

    China carried out Brutal and inhuman Tinnamen Square massacre for political reasons. Playing with lives is politics for that country. China is trying to control the world and is manipulating countries. It gave 10 million United States Dollars to Zimbabwe within a few days of Mugabe arresting 18 Human Rights activists on a false charge of attempting to overthrow the government.

    China gave one million United States Dollars to SL after Mahinda was defiant and rude to the Foreign ministers of Britain, its former colonial ruler, and France.

    Pakistan governemnt which was run by a dictator for long gave advice to SL on undemocratic governance and state terrorism.

    Now, the “birds of the same feather are flocking together”. The problem in SL is caused by the wicked of the world but the Southerners are fast asleep to reality.

  • Vellu Kuma

    Very good current and future analysis with taking into account of Tamils mind. As you said, nothing other than seperate state is going to convince the wounded minds.

  • yogash sivadasan

    How are u Mr Vasantha Raja ? We all know you were one of LTTE propoganda makes. Sorry to notice that you lost your living with the defete of LTTE.

    Why dont you try with another group like Al Qaeda

    Wish you all the best .

  • Sam

    Excellent article. I was beginning to wonder whether there is anybody in the world who really sees the actual dynamics of this problem. The psyche of successive governments was to deliberately whip up anti-Tamil sentiments, and many ordinary Sinhalese do not know the atrocities committed by the army and their cronies. I do not believe that any decent humane being would justify the actions of the Sri Lanka. This was exactly the modus operandi of Hitler, and the ordinary Germans did not realise the full extent of the sins of their rulers until after the war.

  • Observer

    What’s interesting is how conveniently Mr. Vasantha Raja is hiding his own rabid nationalism by pointing fingers at Sinhala nationalism. So is the answer to racialism even greater racialism?

    Mr. Vasantha Raja wishes to establish a racist utopia as the solution to all these problems. What a laudable goal for a human being in the 21st century. What about the rest of the minorities in Sri Lanka though? Aren’t they being oppressed also? Shouldn’t you be fighting for their rights? And by extension, the rights of all Sri Lankan citizens? Your words betray your own thinking.

    Post 1983 Sri Lanka is very different. The country as a whole has matured a great deal. No amount of provocation by the LTTE resulted in a single racial backlash. Yet the racists can’t see any of these improvements, because they are too busy rationalizing their own petty racialism through finger pointing. That’s a significant reason for why we can’t move forward to implement reasonable solutions in bringing about a just, plural society.

    To anyone with a rational mind, the ideal that needs to be reached is clear – equality for all citizens. But that’s not what Mr. Vasantha Raja is fighting for is it? Just don’t pretend to be treading the higher path while doing so. No is going to be fooled.

  • Gunasekara

    This is the reality, and well explained .
    Mahinda bros. were helping Tamils to form a separate state.
    As mentioned in the article, the third generation of Tamils around the world have beginning to feel that they were belong to their birth place rather than their imaginary life with foreign language.
    God bless Tamil EElam.

  • ampanai

    As I agree with the author and sending my kudos to second and third genaration Tamils who have suddenly found an identity. And one hopes they collectively and cooperatively engage democratically and politically to further in achieving Tamileelam.

    The current uproar in the Diaspora is what Thiyaga theepam Thileepan dreamed and Sri Lanka PR machine cannot stand against ordinary Tamils armed with truth and justice.

  • Sen

    It is a very good article, bring the future situation. What i am concerned is, if the army and Sri Lankan (SL) govt says they are rescuing Tamils from a terrorist gang, what is the govt doing to the innocent people, who have gone to the safety there – raping and killing, so who is at worst, a terrorist group or a government, which should treat all citizens equally. It is a pity the world is watching a terror regime killing innocent people in the name of “war on terror”. The world powers should treat these equal terror partners in crime the same manner – banning and stoping aid, but the worst HR violators – the Chinese regime which hopes to do the same in Tibet is abetting the SL terror state. Obama’s administration is only hope to these people, thank god, the Bush mad man is gone.

  • Dear Vasantharajah
    As a senior journalist and former SLBC chairman ,Your past inside experience in SL’s post colonial miss management and this terrible long conflict made Paradise turned to hell. You have expressed the truth and the real picture of future Sri Lanka .Govt,s arrogant Leaders are going mad against all human values to win the war against Tamils, but now all world is watching their atrocities.
    The real war for justice for Tamils is started all over the world ,SL no longer can hide it’s systematic Terror on Tamils.

  • Kumar

    It is an interesting article to read except for the fact that it lacks touch with ground reality. In recent times, I have worked in the South, in the North and in the middle – middle meaning in Kilinochchi. People in the South are ignorant of the resolve of the Tamils in general and Tigers in particular on their committment to a separate state. The terminology used by the respective communities explains their state of minds. For Tamils it is separation, and for Singhalese it is division. Interestingly, every other person I met in Killinochhi was under no illusion as they often said “For all we know, this may just be a 100 year war”.

  • Mango

    Dear Mr Raja,

    An interesting wish-fulfillment article. Here’re a few counterpoints.

    There is no evidence that the next chapter of Eelam will be more formidable. Eelamists demonstrating in Western capitals will not inexorably lead to the creation of a mono-ethnic statelet in Sri Lanka. Carving out a separate state out of an existing state generally requires consent of all the peoples of that existing state

    e.g. The velvet divorce of Czechoslovakia splitting into two separate countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

    If there’s no consent, e.g. Kosovo, it generally requires an armed struggle and the backing of a powerful foreign power. So, no deal.

    Where is your evidence that the fabled IC (which is not limited to the Western bloc) is pressing for separation? Support from Eelamist vote-dependent EU politicians doesn’t count. South India’s going through one of its periodic bouts of street theatre with added human sacrifices. India won’t let Tamil Nadu carve out its’ own foreign policy.

    …strengthened the Tamils’ resolve for independence as never before.” Which Tamils and where are they? All Tamils world-wide or those living in SL? For over 30 years, Eelam-seeking Tamils strained every sinew to try to attain Eelam militarily and have failed. ‘Strengthened resolve’ is all very well, but only a successful military struggle will deliver mono-ethnic Eelam desired by some Tamils.

    How about the global institutions’ hypocrisy in not supporting the struggle by a multi-ethnic state to defeat a mono-ethnic, ultranationalist terrorist organisation. On current evidence global institutions are equal-opportunity hypocrites. The world has learnt that many Tamils live (sometimes uncomfortably) in majority Sinhalese areas. But hardly any non-Tamils lived in TPSTE (The Temporary Pretend Statelet of Tamil Eelam).

    The assertion that “Tamils cannot live under the Sinhala rule” is no different from saying that Black Britons in the UK cannot live under majority White British rule.

  • Paul Nesan

    Predictions sounds good when you are not sure of ground reality. If the Tigers are at a loss what is blocking the SL to capture even the 4 sqkm strip of land. They said they’ll clean up the job within days. Still only talk, and only civilians are getting slaughtered.
    Vasantharajah’s predictions few tuppens worth. No one can be sure what the future holds for the Tamils. It is all guess work.
    International community having studied the psychology of the diaspora will drag this matter as long as possible. These are difficult times, to say the least.

  • Lionajith

    Yes, nicely written! brilliant piece of work by an LTTE. Beautifull! It’s the last piece of work on behalf of the LTTE terrorists. Jayalalitha should carve out a Tamil Eallam in Tamil Nadu so that all tamils in the whole world could live in peace ( and all other nationalities including muslims should be chased out of tamil ealam nation). DREAM!! DREAM!! DREAM!!!

  • Pearl Thevanayagam

    The time has now come for the two ethnic minorities to part ways as this government proved in the last few months if not since it took power.
    For well over six decades we have had the majority govt. hoodwinking the Tamils with collaboration of self-seeking Tamil politicians and intellectuals and in no time of post-indepndent Sri Lanka did Tamils receive parity.
    Amal Jayasinghe came on TV saying that just like the JVP the LTTE would also be a spent force. How wrong he is. The JVP is running the country.
    I hope the blood of Tamil civilians would pave way for autonomy to Tamils and regain their esteemed position as the original settlers of Sri Lanka.
    The international community is watching and it is losing patience.

  • d1234dl

    Staring from the time of the independence of Sri Lankan form Britain, some people were crying for finding solutions for problems which Tamils have. Time to time there were few uprising both from Tamil and Sinhalese sides. They come and make the way for hundreds (or thousands in the most recent one) of deaths and then go. But so far no one ever was able to find a solution. I am tempted to think why? Tamils are claiming that they are under represented in the administration of the country. This was the base for all riots in the past. Let look at this problem closely. Let’s analyze the ethnic percentage in Sri Lanka. According to http://countrystudies.us/sri-lanka/38.htm, it consists of 74% is Sinhalese, 18% Tamils and 7% Muslims. Now let’s look at the Sri Lankan main administration body, the parliament. It consist of 165 Sinhalese -73.3%, 34 Tamils – 15.1% and 26 Muslims – 11.5% both in the government and the opposition. Now even a child can see that all are represented very well in the administration and the Tamils and the Muslims are not under-represented? These are bogus claims some Tamils and their supporters (national or international) make to cover up the real reason for all these troubles. The real truth is Tamils do not have any problem and did not have any even in the past, except the ones LTTE created for them. But after the independence, some Tamil politicians were eying for creating a separate country for them, like they divided India into three countries. British did dot gave it to them on the plate at the tie on independence. Therefore those politician and their followers brainwashed and agitated the Tamil community for finding a solution which did not exists which every time ended up in a blood bath, just for the eagerness for a separate country for Tamils. The truth is, each and every Tamil in this country enjoy every single right which a Sinhalese have. There is no more or less given to any one race, everybody have everything equally. Therefore the clams are bogus and baseless. Tamils must integrate to the society and learn to live and let live.

  • Velmurugan

    Thank you so much explaining the plight of Tamils. Yes the Tamil Eelam is the ONLY solution and Tamils will get it. Scottland England comparision is okay. If we want long lasting peace TWO NATION is the solution. I believe after so much struggle Tamils will get freedom they will understand its value and keep it safe. The Sri Lanka now itself in the wrong path, when it want to make the LTTE week it begged in front of the west and Geroge Bush like idiots didn’t understand the freedom struggle VS terrorism. Now Sri Lanka embolded with money from CHINA, IRAN, PAKISTAN, RUSSIA & LIBYA are ready to oppose the west. Last time when David Miliband visited the government said “WE DON”T NEED THE WESTERN LECTURES” I bet it dug its grave for sure! China, Russia are backing Sri Lanka in the UN and try to stop everything the west can do. We all have to wait and see! Thanks again for writing. I appreciate that very much! – Velmurugan.

  • Shawn G

    Things just got better and will get better for tamils. We will unite as one, leaving no space for hate or crime among us. Tamil eelam will be home to all the tamil’s around the world. We will built and will make the world admire us.

  • Lionajith

    Pearl Thevanayagam,

    Ha!Ha! Ha!
    “hope the blood of Tamil civilians would pave way for autonomy to Tamils and regain their esteemed position as the original settlers of Sri Lanka” You folks are very good at changing history to your liking. You need to go back to pre-historic period dating 2500 years back to find out the true origins of Sri Lanka. You LTTE fanatics are good at making stories apart from fabricating videos, photos just like saying that the SL army is raping tamil women. All these fairytale stories are good for the western media. SL will rise from ashes like never before. I’ll go back to SL to safeguard my country if the need arise. That is , if another invasion is to take place in the future. TAKE MY WORD. I PROMISE.

  • SASI

    THE ARTICLE IS WELL WRITTEN WITH REALTY, RIGHT OR WRONG THE WORLD COMMUNITY IS WATCHING, GIVING ACHANGE TO GET ALL THE TRUTH FROM EVERYWERE, SOON OR LATER TAMIL PEOPLE GET THE TAMILEELAM.
    THANKYOU MR. RAJAPAKSE AND SORRY FOR THE SHINHALA FRIENDS.

  • City Dweller

    Consider this:

    If the successive Sinhala governments had embraced the highly educated minorities in Sri Lanka, i.e., Tamils, and included them in the country endeavors towards progress, Sri Lanka would have been somewhere else today. We could have even seen Sri Lanka competing with advanced nations. Displaced Tamils, who have made their homes in other countries, are seen today making undeniable and ground breaking contributions to their respective countries in every field imaginable from the highest levels: medical science, education, engineering, defence, economics, service sector, community development, and the list goes on.

    But, no! It is most unfortunate that for Sinhalese the very existence dictated by a short sighted few who hold on to mythical notions of nationality based on unfounded spritual claims, and the fewer elites who fan the flames of radical nationalism and racial sentiments to satisfy their self-interests, only to end up with million dollar mansions in the west, bloated swiss bank accounts and abondon the country they claim to protect when their personal needs are met. Protect from who? Tamils, who can greatly contribute to the uplifting of Sri Lanka if given equal rights and opportunities? Sinhalese haven’t learnt the fact that equal opportunities for minorities can produce wonderous results be it racial tolerance, social, or economical. They remain the frog in the well.

    But, I suppose one can’t put the blame entire on the people. It does take an extrodinarily selfless leader with a great vision to bring about that kind of reform. A leader who can instill in people not messages of racial hatred but unity and equality. No leader Sri Lanka produced so far fits that description.

    Today, instead, Sri Lankan sinhalese government has deepend the nationalistic and ethnic divide and caused unhealable wounds among the Tamils. Young, well educated Tamils all over the world have rediscovered their ethnic identity as Tamils and reclaimed their passion to protect their values-language, culture, traditions, and their people. The level of anger and humiliation is unprecedented.

    But, it’s still not too late for the Sinhalese to recognize their mistakes and work together with the Tamils towards a democratic Sri Lanka where everyone’s equal.
    On the other hand, appointing criminals and thugs to represent Tamils is far from efforts needed to make Tamils feel equal.

    Peace in Sri Lanka is not in sight.

  • Nazurudeen

    Mr Raja, What do you want the GOSL to do? Stop the war, withdraw the troops and call you to witness the sale of the dream land that you always wanted?? Will this make you happy? I don’t think so… Still you will find something else to show your discontent. That is your mindset. Ok you may have a B plan. No doubt it is going to be the instrument to kill another hundred thousand lives. Atleast by now learn to co-exist under one umbrella, if you’re really concerned about a self respect when you are abroad.

  • Rat

    I hope all the Sri Lankans read your article more importantly politicians big or small.

    Just want to add, what an Indian politician said “Eelam will be achieved – not by the intelligence of Tamils – but by the foolishness of Sinhalease”

    Another foolishness of majority of Sinhala, if you try to reason out Tamil’s oppression – they go in to some automatic gear (unreasonable) and stamp you “LTTE”.

    Now, I have got the answer – why all these years even the politicians did not take up Tamil’s issues. Because their own kind will label them as LTTE thus loose out.

    If the Eelam has to be formed by further support of New Indian Govt and International Community in the near future within a very short span of time it will flourish much better than SL and somewhat close or even over take Singapore – I hope Eelam should not impose restrictions on visa for Sri Lankans to get jobs or even do business.

    (I believe this is what the Sinhala Majority have dreamed about and it’s some what an inferiority complex – and the history proves that their looting and abductions)

    Miss. Jeyalalitha is a very strong politician and not like the old man Karunanithi.

    So, there are more than one reason to believe and not dream. I really feel sad for the young Sinhala soldiers who are fighting and getting killed without knowing the whole truth and just for salary.

    Another truth is that Sri Lanka does not belong to Sinhala people – just because they are majority. If you have time read the real history books and you will find out Tamil Kingdom existed long before Sinhalease.
    (please do not get upset – take your time to investigate thus educate yourself)

    I just finally say something that bothers me… Why, Sinhala Politicians did not settle this issue long before the LTTE was formed? (I believe they had approximately 30 add years)

    After all Tamils helped more than Sinhala politician to gain independence from Briton – in fact Tamil politicians negotiated with British officials to free Sinhala leaders those who were imprisoned under British rule with capital punishment.

    There is an old saying in Tamil “Sinhalease calls a Tamil ‘Brother’ – only to cross the river”

    I hope, GoSL – Ministry of Education should implement in their primary schools some important life aspects for being a human-being such things like – sharing, being thankful, thinking reasonable, not getting jealousy etc..

    That’s all folks.

  • Tony

    Hey Rajah,

    Have you really lost the plot mate???? I wish you and the so called SL Tamil diaspora the very best if your intentions/dreams are to materialize.
    BTW what ticket are you on – is it political asylum?
    One thing is for certain – before long all those on the ticket of political asylum (domiciled in the western world and elsewhere) would loose those credentials and would not have two legs to stand on (or is it four – likely tigers???)!

  • The situation is beyond redemption and separation is the only way out.. A two state solution alone can remedy matters. Jayalalitha, the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has hit the nail on the head. She has consoled the world Tamil community by publicly declaring that a separate Eelam is the solution as Tamils are being treated as slaves by the Singhalese. The plight of Eelam Tamils is similar to that of Palestinians.

    Jayalaltha has boldly declared that she will do all she can to persuade the Central Government to send the Indian army to create Eelam. She has become the symbolic mother of World Tamils. Tamils in Tamil Nadu, Eelam, South Africa, Malaysia, Mauritius and other parts of the world look to her to come to the rescue of Eelam Tamils. The Tamil dinosaur has been provoked by the Singhalese Buddhist fanatical predators and has awakened. They are playing with fire by rousing 70 million Tamil people.

    Turkey has separated Northern Cyprus from the Southern part. Recently Russia, entered Georgia and annexed two provinces. If Indira Gandi can send the Indian army to create Bangladesh, and Rajiv Gandhi can send it into Sri Lanka and Maldives, Jayalaltha has every right to ask the Indian army to return to Sri Lanka. It is most unfortunate that the IPKF had to be withdrawn due to bungling by both LTTE and the Indian government.

    The Tamil National Alliance headed by Sampanthan has 22 Tamil members in Parliament and they should take the initiative and invite the Indian army. Eelam can have our own democratically elected Chief Minister and legislature like Pondichery, Tamil Nadu, Goa and other states. The destiny of Tamil Eelam should be decided by Eelam Tamils and not by the hostile alien Singhalese. The entity of Tamil Eelam (Northeast Province) is non negotiable.

    Eelam should federate with India and not with Sri Lanka. Tamils are linguistically, religiously and culturally firmly connected like the umbilical cord to India, and not to the Singhalese, who are perennial enemies of Tamils. Blood is thicker than water.

  • lionajith

    If a tamil kingdom existed then why only in the north of sri lanka? Should n’t the tamil community be the majority and the Sinhalese be the minority? You LTTE fellows invaded Sri Lanka from Tamil Nadu and now you want North to be called Tamil Ealam. Try that in the south of Sri Lanka and by the way tell Jayalalitha to invade Sri Lanka. She is just a politician trying to win votes in Tamil Nadu. We are not scared of the western countries. Our history proves that. Just like you Rat, I feel sorry for the LTTE baby suicide soldiers too. They could have gone to school and become somebody someday. LTTE diaspora did not know that Prabha’s daughter got admission to study in a southern university in SL. Prabhas siblings are living a posh life whilst the poor LTTE baby soldiers are killed in hundreds. Is this Tamil ealam?

  • Well said Vasantha Raja. You proved yourself when you resigned from SLBC. Along with you I too feel very sorry for the attitde of SL in slaughtering of our Tamil brotheren which is forming the base for separation. It is the borgeous belief that SL belongs to the Sinhalese only is the foundation for Tamil Elam and not Prabaharan.

    Raj.

  • Sybil Fawlty

    What’s wrong with you guys? Doesn’t the blood of so many innocent people (mainly tamils killed by the LTTE) satisfy your thirst? You could care less because you are in a cosy environment and all you have to do is to eat well and stir up more communal hatred. Think of your own who are struggling to live a day because of this mono-ethnic utopia. I thought most Tamils are civilised people but obviously you lot are far from it. One would think that both sides will be trying to heal the wounds after all this stupidity for over 30 years. You are a disgrace to the civilised world.

  • Dayan Jayatilleka

    Wasantha Raja writes: “With South India’s full backing – also, with the international community’s blessings – the Tamils are going to press for just two options: either a confederation or total separation.”

    The rest of the article is in the same vein, as are some of the comments.

    This “analysis” overlooks two points: all this “pressing” has even been able to secure a simple ceasefire. Or a session of the Security Council. Or the General assembly. Or a cut off in DPL relations. I refer to the outcomes of the Gaza war, of course.

    The second point it overlooks is that the Sri Lankan state was able to withstand the presence of 70, 000 Indian troops and the support of India for the armed Tamil movement.

    So the Tiger threat is not the first but the second threat it has overcome, to its sovereignty.

    The resilience of the Sri Lankan state and its options in an increasingly multipolar world characterized by the rise of Asia, should not be under-estimated, nor the degree and efficacy of external pressure be overestimated.

    International relations ( as opposed to the theatre of Diaspora demonstrations) is clearly not Mr Wasantharaja’s strong suit. I recommend to him, Nirmala Rajasingham’s essay in an intellectually serious web magazine, Open Democracy…and the comment she makes about pro-Eelam activists in the diaspora living in a “cultural bubble”.

  • JM

    No matter who says what. Tamils will have a seperat state. History will tell. Tamils have been living in the couuntry before sinhalese. Sinhalese have taken over the lands of tamils and now trying to create a tamil free state.
    The reasons and fight for seperate state for tamils are stronger than ever before. Bottom line Tamils and sinhala cannot live together. The recent war by GoSL and indescriminate killings of tamils have underlined the cause and the need for seperate state.
    The strugle go for ever if a seperate state is not created. Sinhala thugs and rioters will cause mayham time to time and kill tamils. GoSL is a terror state and no democracy in the country. The GoSL is a military government by many means. It is a racist, genocidal state in south east asia.

  • Nalin

    Harp on as much as you like Wasantha, but you or non of your fellow Tamil Diaspora team mates are going to see a Tamil Eelam in this life or the next….

    Once LTTE is defeated militarily tell me who is going to drive the diplomatic process in SL….. Don’t tell me the defeated LTTE fronted Diaspora…

    Tamil should learn to live beside Sinhalese like they very successfully do in Colombo and suburbs…. If they don’t just remember how Sinhalese solved the JVP uprising in the late 80’s…..

    Finally what I should say is never misunderestimate (BUSH) Sinhalese, which is the down fall of all the Tamils…… how do you think Sri Lankans (Mainly Sinhalese) managed to keep Sri Lanka as separate country beside a huge country like India for centuries…. Just think about this

  • Nalin

    Well said d1234dl

  • Nalin

    JM,you must be DREAMING mate
    What guys like you lack is COMMON SENSE

  • Pearl Thevanayagam

    Dayan Jayetileke and his pseudo-intellectualism should not be taken seriously. First he was a Tamil militant member, then he was kind of a thinktank and now he is the puppet diplomat of the president. He’ll do anything for money and power. Should Tamils gain autonomy and should they choose to elect him (hypothetically of course) as head he will say `yes.’
    He is a far cry from his father, the Late veteran journalist Mervyn De Silva who made no money out of his fair and just journalism.

  • Origen

    I think the biggest setback facing the Tamils’ struggle is the way the Sri Lankan government, to its credit, has been able to divide the Tamils constantly using their petty differences stemming from caste and geographical differences. Prior to the formation of TNA, except for TULF, most of the other Tamil parties were supportive of the GOSL and their military wings were functioning as government militias. When the TNA was formed, there was unity amongst Tamil political parties. Now, again there’s a plethora of Tamil parties. Look at the Sinhalese political establishment, each party is outwitting itself when it comes to persecuting the war and not genuinely addressing the justified grievances of the Tamil people (recent example, comments by Palitharanga Bandara).

    I know that LTTE made things worse in the 80s due to its internecine fight. But, what has made Suresh Premachandran, N. Sri Kantha, Adaikalanathan, Sivajilingam, even Sampanthan to be united? Some people might say it’s because of the threats from LTTE, but that’s doesn’t hold. As John F. Kennedy said to the Americans during his inaugural address “ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” In dire times like this, Tamil political parties need to be united rather outwitting themselves for influence and power. Another example when it comes to unity, I met a lady in Toronto who’s husband was constantly demanded money by the LTTE when he was a store owner in Jaffna. Yet now both of them are at different venues showing their protests against the killing of innocent Tamil civilians.

  • Opinion

    Nalin, don’t let racist retorts bubble up. This is precisely the effect people like this want.

    By continuously stopping any form of moderate view from being expressed, and stirring up the racist pot, attitudes like this have managed to perpetuate this problem for 60+ years. Sinhala and Tamil ultra-nationalism have reinforced each other and moderate people, who just want to live and let live, have been bulldozed over.

    For the most part, the Sinhalese seem willing to live and let live, although silly comments like Fonseka’s deserve a sound trouncing. Still, to his credit, he is willing to live and let live. The Tamil extremists certainly don’t have this attitude, and it’s high time for moderate Tamils to realize this.

    The task at hand is not to listen to this shrill, unrelenting racist cacophony or to outdo it, but to look forward to ways in which we can build a society which gradually sees beyond these primitive notions of racialism. Moderate Sinhalese and Tamils can and are already doing this and we’ve come a long way since 1983. We just shouldn’t let these racist people dominate our thinking or play along with their racist “solutions”.

    I hope moderate voices will rise and flourish again now that one of the main extremist groups is in its death throes. Reasonable people can find reasonable ways to live together as human beings, even if things won’t be perfect overnight. It’s now more important than ever for Tamils with moderate views to break free from the stranglehold these extremists have exercised through their relentless propaganda.

    There’s no time like now for moderates to take the field.

  • Maithree

    Useful Advice for Intellectual Beginners who want to prove the Possibility of Separate State of Elam within Sri Lanka

    Once a very famous Tamil professor came to see a Yogi. Professor said that he wanted to prove scientifically the Possibility of Elam as a separate state within Sri Lanka. He wanted to prove that Sinhalese Majorities are wrong and he wanted prove it scientifically.

    Yogi said “The way you are saying it, the search is unscientific from the very beginning”.

    Professor asked “Why?”

    Yogi said “ You have already decided that Sinhalese Majority are wrong. You have not entered into the search yet and the decision is already there that Elamists are right. And how can you say you want to prove scientifically? – how can it be scientific

    The first requirement of scientific approach is not to start with conclusion. You drop your conclusions. You will have to be perfectly alert that you don’t know what reality is – then go into it. And then inquire, remaining very impartial. Even it goes against your theory, let it go; even it goes against Elam”, let it go. You are too much Tamil. You can not be scientist.

  • Nalin

    Opinion,

    I agree with you 100%, I am not being racist here , what I am try to say is extremism should be dealt with extreme measures, dismantling an Organisation like LTTE would not be easy even after capturing all the land area.

    But Sri Lankans, will succeed
    If not for the LTTE, a Tamil should have easily become the Prime minster or may be the President of this country… alas look what they have got themselves into….

  • Chan

    Raja,

    Thanks for your opinion which I already new. However, we, the Tamils, will never come to you for any solution even if LTTE is defeated because you came to take over the SLRC when CBK was the President. All the killings you talk now were there then as well still you came to report on those killing of innocent civilians. Only when the racist press ran headlines ‘Tiger inside Rupavahini’ you woke up. So don’t dream we need you or you have any room in that post conflict process. You have the same place as Kadirkamar in Tamils history.

    You talk about two state solution and confederation but failed to grasp the idea Mrs. J of Tamil Nadu will not have constitutional power send the army to Sri Lanka because devolution of power in India is some what similar to what is in the proposed 13th amendment and therefore have no control over the army which is with the central government. How foolishly some of you are commenting for and against it? Shame on you! To my knowledge, the only federation that had devolved the power to have separate army was the former Russian Federation (USSR) not even in Quebec, the French Canada.

    For the last four weeks, Hilary’s assistant, Mr. Wood has been talking about post conflict resolution in his daily brief. The US, UK, France have all in the process of delegating the task of political solution to Norway and India to implement the devolution of power in Sri Lanka. India has already told Sri Lanka to implement the 13th amendment (1987 Accord) and MORE. What we don’t know is what is in that MORE. Erik of Norway has talked about Federation recently, probably similar to the one in Quebec modified to suit our aspiration and practicality (e.g. Indian national security).

    For the Sinhalese, do you live in a Cuckoo Island? See below the white house presee release.

    “It would compound the current tragedy if the military end of the conflict only breeds further enmity and ENDS HOPES FOR RECONCILIATION AND A UNIFIED SRI LANKA IN THE FUTURE.”

    April 24, 2009
    Office of the Press Secretary
    White House

  • Talk is easy

    Those who want to split Sri Lanka realise that it won’t be easy. We have already been to hell. It is familiar ground for us to tread again if needed. We know one thing now. This is an everlasting threat from racist Tamils. We will fight against even for generations because we have no where else to go.
    Buddha already predicted that Sinhala is a dying race and there aint much we can do about it. But what we can make sure is Eelam is only possible when the last of the Sinhalese have expended their breaths. So wait about another few thousand years until you fulfill your eelam…in Sri Lanka anyway.

  • Vasantha Raja

    Sinhala politicians have failed to differentiate between “ethnic minorities” and “minority nations” within a country. For instance, Sri Lankans living in Britain see themselves as an ethnic minority. But the Scottish people don’t see themselves as an ethnic minority living in the English country. Scots are a minority nation co-existing with the English majority in the Isles of Britain. Similarly, the Tamils in Lanka are a minority nation co-existing with the Sinhala majority. Thus, it’s like a marriage with the right to divorce. If the husband is a pathological beater then the wife has no alternative but to divorce.

    With regard to the metamorphosis taking place in Tamil Nadu, I was not predicting that India would militarily intervene in Sri Lanka if Jayalalitha became the next Prime Minister of India, for instance. I was merely pointing out that Jayalalitha’s transformation is a clear reflection of what’s happening on the ground – which means, Tamil Nadu will become a safe haven for Tamil militants to regroup while the Sinhala military is occupying the Tamil regions in Sri Lanka. But this time, not as a banned ‘terrorist outfit’, but as real freedom fighters.

  • Pearl Thevanayagam

    Wasantharaja of mixed blood speaks some sense and he sees the injustice done to Tamils. I too have a niece of mixed blood living in the UK. She likes Blacks because they love sports and music and they are fun to be with. She is baffled when people ask whether she is a Tamil or a Sinhalese. She replies she is Sri Lankan but she does not like people getting killed.
    How I’d like my own Tamil brethren to share her innocent but sincere views.

  • Disgusted

    Vasantha Raja >>

    Minority nation?? Your word betray your own racial thinking and that you have never been interested in forging a united Sri Lanka with a plural society, because such thinking is that of a mindset stuck in a 17th century state of affairs.

    Small wonder that people like you can never be satisfied and every solution in your mind is a racist one. Well, I’m happy to see your racist dream in its death throes along with the brutal terrorist organization created to achieve it.

    If by chance your mindset arrives in the 21st century, and you are trying to think of how to forge a plural society, give us a call. Otherwise, keep on dreaming about your racist la-la-land at the expense of your destitute pawns in the Vanni.

  • Scottish & Welsh nationalism in Britain clearly show how nationalism of minority ‘nations’ still thrives even within advanced industrial countries. Note that (unlike the Sinhalese and the Tamils) both Scots and Welsh speak English better than their native tongues and they are all Christians. But still the aspiration for political independence is very much alive. British government had to offer a Scottish parliament and a Welsh Assembly – explicitly stating the right of self-determination – due to this undeniable reality. Whether the British solution is adequate to solve the problem is another matter which I do not want to get into here. [Even the Indian constitution, in a limited way, has taken this reality into account.]

    Pluralism is just one side of the coin. In fact, the global society is changing towards a pluralist society. But, we’re not there yet. Presently, we’re in a transitional episode. And remember, transitions are by definition contradictory, because they contain two opposites: an emerging reality (pluralism) and a dying reality (nationalism). Thus, it is not difficult to give loads of examples to substantiate both realities. Therefore, juxtaposing counter-examples is of no use. The pluralists must not dogmatically cling on to just one side of the reality. We must take both aspects into account and design the solution accordingly – a state-structure that can accommodate both realities for the time being, and help the transition. [Read my “A Common Vision to Break Sri Lanka’s Deadlock” in http://www.lankaeye.com]

    My campaign for a tentative two regional parliaments (for the north and the south) and a power-sharing Supreme Parliament for issues relevant to the island as a whole (which is essentially a unitary solution) is based on the transitional nature of the problem we’re dealing with. [I avoided the Muslim problem deliberately for clarity’s sake.]

    The tragedy in Sri Lanka at present is that the brutal war and Sinhala chauvinism have bulldozed the possibility of any durable solution within a united country, though I hope and pray the wisdom on both sides would eventually prevail and go for a radical transformation of the country. For, I’m personally convinced that geographically, demographically, economically, politically and culturally there’s nothing better than a unified solution for all communities concerned. But to win the trust back bold steps are needed. Our post-colonial state structures lack the flexibility necessary to heal the antagonisms between the majority & the minority nation within a single nation-state framework.

  • Nalin

    No Wasantha, you are wrong again, Tamils took up arms thinking that they can bring Sinhalese into submission to give there PEElam….. Arms struggle is as good as defeated and this will be a good example for all the pundits who harp that terrorism could not be defeated.

    You can tell what ever you want from safe heavens, but poor Tamils who are facing the brunt of the WAR just need to live peacefully at least the remainder of their lives….

    And also Sinhala Nationalism has never being this HIGH for the past century….

  • Disgusted

    Vasantha Raja >>

    I would like to understand your views, but I see several problems.

    Can you outline how cementing racial divisions and constitutionalizing racism fits in with your long-term plan of pluralism?

    Secondly, what good do these racist divisions do when most of the Tamil population are living in the south in Sinhala dominated areas? Are you proposing that they uproot themselves wholesale and move to Tamil dominated areas in order to enjoy freedom? Exactly who is this freedom for? For the ruling class? or the people?

    In my eyes, you are yet to provide a convincing reason as to how this would benefit the ordinary person. Your solution does not seem consistent with readily visible evidence either, as I am yet to hear of any grievances so severe in the present day, that it requires the cementing of racial divisions as a “transitional step”. You are welcome to list those grievances (provided they are not a direct or indirect result of the LTTE). The conclusion? The hard work of people with a plural vision for our country has produced more results that can be readily seen in modern day society. People who have attempted divisive solutions, such as yourself, have only devastation to show for it, as they ignore even more pressing realities.

    Furthermore, your solution to the process of trust-building seems a non-sequitur. In order to rebuild trust, we must separate further, and this further separation will somehow lead to the rebuilding of trust so that “a united state structure most suited to the future prosperity of the island as a whole” can be created. Who exactly is being separated, all Tamils? Your solution completely fails to address the needs of other minorities as well. Should they too not have equal rights? Is the solution to create many separate states for all of them?

    Forgive me for being skeptical, but your solution appears to be taking the low-road to solving the problem, which you yourself freely admit, and ignores the progress we have made over the years despite the scourge of the LTTE. Still, I might be convinced if you highlight why it is the better transitional solution over campaigns for better education and the correction of state structures. Not all Tamils seem to share your views either, especially those coming from the more oppressed classes, as explained here: http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2009/05/we-need-inter-ethnic-inter-religious.html. As he explains, this separate state structure seems to be more helpful to people who want a bigger share of the pie, and not the ordinary person.

  • All I have said about a transitional state-model that might be appropriate for Sri Lanka’s present social realities are no longer valid. The Tamil majority are not in the mood to discuss political solutions at all. Tamils are determined to fight for a separate state – on the basis of the right to self-determination – with the possible backing of a substantial section of the global community, including India. The brutal war has changed everything; I don’t think there’s any point in discussing “amicable solutions” now.

    The reality is: the military occupation of the north and east will continue for years. Hundreds of thousands of Tamils will rot in “concentration camps” for years. Security nightmare in the south will get worse. Sri Lanka’s economy will invariably collapse. Sinhala state’s dictatorial oppression of all opposition and the media will grow. And, social revolution will be on the cards. The potential for a revolutionary unity between oppressed social forces on both Tamil and Sinhala sides may at last become a reality.

  • Disgusted

    Vasantha Raja >>

    Your “mood” swings are costing the lives of innocent people. The sooner you think of how to solve this problem logically and amicably, the sooner you’ll find solutions forthcoming.

    And you’ve pretty much evaded answering any of my questions because you are searching for ways and means to justify your own racism, and thereby avoid facing the cognitive dissonance in the realization that those are despicable ideals.

  • Many countries, including Britain and India, took into account the historically evolved nationalist realities within their respective societies in designing appropriate state-structures. In Sri Lanka this hasn’t happened. Sri Lankan state has no mechanism to fulfil the Sinhala Buddhists’ justifiable aspirations without antagonising the Tamil community; because, everything it does to realize Sinhala Buddhists’ cultural and economic rights (in terms of linguistic, religious, economic and other aspirations) practically ended up in imposing the Sinhala will on the Tamil community. Understandably, Eelam Tamils, who had been historically enjoying self-rule through their own kingdoms for centuries were not going to have it.

    Thus, Sri Lanka’s existing state-structure is the real culprit that is responsible for the Sinhala/Tamil conflict that led to the present catastrophe. It was the Sinhala-state’s effort to crush the Tamils’ non-violent campaigns through violent means that eventually produced the Tamils’ armed struggle. Rajapaksa Brothers’ bloody war is just the logical conclusion of the successive governments’ militarist approach to the problem.

    The tragedy now is: the sheer barbarities of the war have pushed the conflict over the edge to the point of no return. The Tamil struggle for a separate state is bound to rise to new heights in the near future. And, the government is also bound to sink to new depths of barbarity to defend the existing structures. [I don’t think the government’s present mindset is conducive at all to a dramatic transformation of the state to creatively harmonize self-rule and central-rule along the lines I’ve indicated.] This is why I clearly see economic collapse and social upheavals of revolutionary proportions on the horizon.

    It is in the context of this almost inevitable objective scenario that I see the potential for a revolutionary alliance of Tamil and Sinhala forces in a common struggle to put an end to the continuing bloodbath and save the country from barbarism.

  • Darsana

    Vasantha

    Vasantha

    Given below an Extract from one of your article.

    “Paradoxically, the Rajapaksa brothers’ ruthless war has forced the Tigers to see the truth, and I think, before long the SL government will realise that it has committed a big blunder by ‘educating’ the Tigers and pitching its “entire” army in the midst of a massive jungle, a refined guerrilla force and a hostile population.”

    1.I wonder what kind of education Tigers would have had after the death of their leader.

    2. Do you think SL army now has anything to do in jungles after the death of all the leaders operating in Sri Lanka including the Son of the Leader.

    3. Your prediction of a hostile poulation also might become wrong because IDP are not scared now to tell the truth about the Tigers to the whole world.

    Vsantha, please let us know your comment after what happened today. (Death of LTTE Leader)

  • Disgusted

    Vasantha >>

    I would like to repeat my questions in point form as they have not been addressed.

    1. What are the grievances in the present day which remain unaddressed in the context of a plural society? (Please do not list any which were directly or indirectly caused by the LTTE)

    2. Can you explain how cementing racial divisions and constitutionalizing racism fits in with your long-term plan of pluralism? Why is it the better transitional solution over campaigns for better education and the correction of state structures?

    3. What good do these racist divisions do when most of the Tamil population are living in the south in Sinhala dominated areas? Are you proposing that they uproot themselves wholesale and move to Tamil dominated areas in order to enjoy freedom?

    Barbarism can be avoided if you yourself do not sink to barbarism and impinge on others’ right to live while seeking to address your own non life-threatening
    grievances. Others will join you readily, myself included, to address any grievances which prevent you from having equal rights and which prevents Sri Lanka from moving towards a plural society, as long as the afore-mentioned condition is upheld.

  • Prashan

    After 18 May 2009, I do NOT see a comment by Vasantha Raja. Perhaps, he too went with Prabakaran. So, Vasantha Raja, if you are living, can we please have a hindsight view of the situation?

  • I invite visitors to read my latest article “Sri Lanka’s never-ending political deadlock” in groundviews.org. which provide answers to most questions raised.

  • Yes Prashan…you’re right. I was in Mulaithivu! I had the rare opportunity to witness Prabhakaran blowing-up himself to ‘invisibility’ just before the military entered. Some leaders did escape. When the SL televisions telecast the body of Prabha’s look-alike body-guard’s dead body for the benefit of the Sinhala viewers I was amused. But, now I’m back to write more. My latest is: “Sri Lanka’s never-ending political deadlock”. I know you would not enjoy reading it.

  • Heshan

    Are you the same Vasantha Raja who wrote the book about CBK?

  • I have never written a book on CBK.