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The onus is on the diaspora

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 7 July 2009 06:50 No Comment]

The military outcome of the crisis has emboldened a bunch of people to chant that ‘we told you so’ and now collaborate with thy oppressors. This group is not new to Eezham Tamils, writes TamilNet’s political commentator in Colombo. "Ever since universal suffrage was introduced in the ethnically divided island in 1931, there was always a section willing to play stooges to the majority. Yet the struggle of the freedom seekers also remained alive. If the fighters are accused of not achieving any, so are the collaborators and the ‘we told you so’ groups," the commentator writes. "The onus of facing the situation now entirely rests on the Eezham Tamil diaspora, as it is the only entity that has the freedom of expression. Response to Karunanidhi has to come from the diaspora through reaffirming the Vaddukkoaddai resolution," he further writes.

The response of TamilNet’s political commentator on Mr. Karunanidhi’s declaration in the Tamil Nadu State Assembly, follows:

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s declaration in the State Assembly, last week, needs careful perusal by all Eezham Tamils.

Mr. Karunanidhi said Tamil Eelam is no more realistic. Ruling out the possibility of independence, sovereignty and a nation state for Eezham Tamils, he said they working for livelihood rights, struggling for equal rights, equal status for language and devolution of powers at the regional level ‘alone are possible’.

As he implied that any rehabilitation of Tamils possible only with the help of the Sinhala government, he cautioned against any reaction in Tamil Nadu that may ‘anger’ the Sinhala people and the Buddhist monks.

He even rejected the demand to pass a resolution against war crimes committed by Colombo.

He also made a comparison of the circumstances under which DMK gave up separatism to avoid ‘proscription’.

Earlier, a couple of months back, Mr. Karunanidhi had said that ‘one slave cannot help another’.

Eezham Tamils have to read a politician in between the lines.

Mr. Karunanidhi, who stood for Tamil Eelam during elections to attract votes, is voicing for the Establishment now. What has to be deduced is that the aspirations of the people of Tamil Nadu are different from the agenda of the Indian Establishment.

Despite all their geopolitical rivalries, the agenda of priority for all powers is to save the Sri Lankan state at any cost, whatever genocide it may commit. The talk of terrorism was a smokescreen. LTTE was not the problem, but the liberation struggle of Tamils, seen collectively by all powers as ‘destabilising’ to geopolitics and imperialism was the problem.

This is why they were not fair to Tamils in the war and why they even now follow a policy of appeasement towards Colombo.

Even if the irrefutable reality is that without the deconstruction of the Sri Lankan state nothing fair can take place to the ethnic question in the island, the decision of the powers is that fairness not needed but the state has to stay.

Emboldened by this weakness in the collective geopolitical outlook of the powers, the Sinhala regime is playing its cards by distributing economic and strategic resources of the island to the appetite of powers that are prepared to abet in its genocidal agenda. Mahinda Rajapaksa has been quoted saying that if Hambantota is given to China Kaankeasanthu’rai will be given to India.

The height of the actual war against Tamil national aspirations in the island is in progress only now. All want to see the Eezham Tamils on their own confirming subjugation. A vicious argument is brought in that once Tamils give up their nationhood and the right to self-determination only the Sinhalese will be agreeable even to their very existence in the island.

The Indian Establishment has many reasons to be in the forefront of this current phase of war. The foremost of them is that India imperceptibly lost the war just ended in its very backyard to China and India exerting any leverage in the island is now possible only by victimising the victimised.

Whatever personal and communal biases have influenced the Indian policy making, the Nehru-Krishna Menon legacy has adamantly brought in another major disaster to the security of South Asia.

As Tamils in the island have always been paying the price for India bungling its Sri Lanka policy and as India always take Tamils for granted, it now expects them to ‘cooperate’ with it by accepting subjugation once and for all, in order to extricate the fabric of its security interests that has fallen on thorny bush in the island.

Mr. Karunanidhi has more valid reasons in shielding Colombo in its war crimes. If Colombo is ‘angered’ and opens its mouth, it is not only the two bureaucratic gentlemen who were shuttling between New Delhi and Colombo in finalising the agenda that killed 20,000 Tamils in a single day and incarcerated 300,000, but also many higher-ups behind them who will find indictment in the war crimes.

Many see the war just ended only as a crushing defeat of the LTTE. They also gleefully but wrongly think that along with the LTTE the Tamil national question also will be forgotten.

When all the powers are blind in their geopolitical greed, the LTTE has made a strong point to human civilisation by fighting all alone a liberation war with determination, against all the powers, without playing into the hands of anyone. Even though the guilty are ashamed to accept, the implications of the war are universally significant.

The war has challenged and exposed the very international system, from the mighty US imperialism and the imperial-aspirants of the same genre to the so-called ‘United Nations’ that has no nations in it but governments. While it is evident that the UN is long heading for the fate of its predecessor, The League of Nations doomed after failure in Manchuria and Abyssinia, it is the Eezham war that has decisively proved that even in human rights the UN is impotent.

The war has opened up the eyes of many in the civilized world.

The Eezham Tamils have a great responsibility in taking up their liberation struggle of universal significance from the point where the LTTE left it.

Setting aside the question whether the LTTE is there or not the hard reality is that the responsibility out of the blue has fallen on the heads of the Tamil people. Nothing can remedy the situation other than the people boldly responding to it. The transformation of the struggle from the command structure to a popular participatory structure may have initial difficulties but the nation cannot shun from its responsibility.

The military outcome of the crisis has emboldened a bunch of people to chant that ‘we told you so’ and now collaborate with thy oppressors. This group is not new to Eezham Tamils. Ever since universal suffrage was introduced in the ethnically divided island in 1931, there was always a section willing to play stooges to the majority. Yet the struggle of the freedom seekers also remained alive. If the fighters are accused of not achieving any, so are the collaborators and the ‘we told you so’ groups.

The structural genocide aimed by several quarters now is to silence Eezham Tamils permanently. It is indeed puzzling to see how certain media empires and elite coterie in Tamil Nadu and Kerala work with personal and extraordinary commitment to Colombo in making Eezham Tamils to lose their identity and in making them ‘subordinate Sri Lankans’.

The Eezham Tamils have not done anything to these sections. Yet they are more paranoid about Tamil nationalism than the Sinhalese. Mr. Karunanidhi can do a great favour to Eezham Tamils by first negotiating with these sections, as he seems to be in good rapport with them. This is more important than negotiating with Mr. Rajapaksa.

The geopolitical perspectives of powers favouring Sri Lanka could have been altered, had there been a determined Tamil Nadu. But for reasons best known to him Mr. Karunanidhi decided otherwise and is now advising the Eezham Tamils to shed their national identity.

As Mr Karunanidhi himself has said it is not a conflict between governments but between ethnicities. Why he failed in proving the ethnic strength when the Eezham Tamils were facing genocide will go into Tamil history as a riddle.

Karunanidhi’s stand will be a shot in the arm for Colombo to go for more brutal proscription of all forms of Tamil nationalism in the island and will also discourage international sympathisers of the Tamil cause.

The onus of facing the situation now entirely rests on the Eezham Tamil diaspora, as it is the only entity that has the freedom of expression. Response to Karunanidhi has to come from the diaspora through reaffirming the Vaddukkoaddai resolution.

There are some who choose to ridicule that if Tamil Eelam couldn’t be achieved when it was fought for in the island, how can it be achieved merely by the diaspora asserting to it. The very fact that every oppressive force wants to erase Tamil Eelam from the vocabulary in the island is more than enough a reason why it has to be kept alive in the diaspora.

The geopolitical equations of powers are ephemeral. Political thinking in Chennai and New Delhi are also ephemeral. But a national liberation struggle that too the struggle of a people who have been so brutally and inhumanly treated by their oppressors, is fortified by the flow of blood and is obsessed to continue until justice is meted out. It can never be like the DMK forgetting Dravida Nadu.

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