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A roadmap to liberation

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 12 August 2009 07:29 No Comment]

What is currently seen as the biggest threat of destabilisation by Colombo and by some powers is not the militancy of Tamils. Militancy of a small nation can be crushed by ganging up and by fabricating all excuses, as has already been witnessed by us. But what exactly threatens the establishments is the effort of Tamils organising themselves politically. What they expect is the ‘defeated’ Tamils to play political stooges. Tamil national question today appeals to an array of oppressed masses deprived of political justice all over the world. It is a topic that appeals to progressive minds thinking of restructuring the polity of human civilisation. The responsibility of Eezham Tamils and their diaspora is to present the case with a progressive political theme and language.

TamilNet Editorial Board

Unfolding events, whether in war or in elections, clearly indicate that Sri Lanka, known for its state terrorism, is all out to subjugate Tamils militarily and politically. All Eezham Tamils in their heart are aware that they have no option other than facing the challenge.

We live in times state terrorism in the island to the extent of multifaceted genocide is rationalised and unashamedly blessed by the international community – from the UN, world powers and India to some other states in the region.

All know well that the Sri Lankan state cannot bring in any solution other than escalating the conflict, but it seems this is what precisely they want that to happen, until the question ‘who is going to have the geopolitical say in the island’ is resolved among the powers.

As such is the reality, it is folly to argue that things would have been different had the Tamil struggle opted a different course. There was no option between fighting and conceding to machinations of subjugation.

What is currently seen as the biggest threat of destabilisation by Colombo and by some powers is not the militancy of Tamils. Militancy of a small nation can be crushed by ganging up and by fabricating all excuses, as has already been witnessed by us. But what exactly threatens the establishments is the effort of Tamils organising themselves politically. What they expect is the ‘defeated’ Tamils to play political stooges.

Independent political organisation is a fundamental right of every society and is a vital norm of contemporary human civilisation.

The responsibility of aptly asserting to this fundamental right falls squarely on every member of the Eezham Tamil nation. It is not just Tamils caring for themselves, but more than that it is meeting a challenge of global perspective having a bearing to entire humanity.

In a remarkable way the people of Jaffna have demonstrated their will for fresh political organisation in the recent municipal elections. It was a bold and clear boycott when only 20 percent turned out for voting– a slap in the face to all political parties, including the TNA that was playing words with ‘self-determination.’ In this instance no one instructed the people to boycott voting. It was spontaneous.

As Lionel Bopage, a former general secretary of the JVP, has recently pointed out, the Sri Lankan state has long back disenfranchised the Eezham Tamils by enacting the 6th Amendment to the constitution in 1983 that prevents them from politically airing their aspiration of nationhood.

As political organisation of their choice is constitutionally prevented in the island, the onus righteously falls on the diaspora of Eezham Tamils to rise up to the occasion.

Colombo is engaged in a dubious propaganda that diaspora’s political organisation is harmful to its ‘home made’ solution that is nothing but structural genocide.

In the highly internationalised conflict in the island, diaspora’s political organisation is justifiable not only in voicing for the people facing genocide in the homeland but also in globally responding to the global system that failed in its political cum humanitarian values and humiliated the diaspora.

The efforts of diaspora Tamils in re-affirming self-determination, independence and sovereignty proclaimed by the Vaddukkoaddai Resolution of 1976 and their novel concept of transnational governance for a nation victimised by the international community have become challenges worse than a war to Colombo.

The Vaddukkoaddai Resolution was rebuked as ‘Tamil tribalism’ by a Sinhala writer, in a Colombo newspaper recently.

“The Vaddukkoaddai war was a tragedy bought upon themselves by their intransient, self-defeating, short-sighted, Jaffna-centric extremism. Peninsular politics was never dominated or driven by any modern political ideology – liberalism, communism, socialism, multi-culturalism or even Gandhism which was a mere passing fad without any deep roots – other than primal communalism,” says this writer in Daily Mirror, according to whom all progressive politics in the island come from the South.

It is as though answering him Arundhati Roy wrote in her recent book: “I have always been struck by the fact that the political party in Turkey that carried out the Armenian genocide was called the Committee for Union and Progress.”

On the strategy of branding the aspirations of people, she further wrote: “This theft of language, this technique of usurping words and deploying them like weapons, of using them to mask intent and to mean exactly the opposite of what they have traditionally meant, has been one of the most brilliant strategic victories of the tsars of the new dispensation. It has allowed them to marginalise their detractors, deprive them of a language in which to voice their critique and dismiss them as being ‘anti-progress’, ‘anti-development’, ‘anti-reform’ and of course ‘anti-national’—negativists of the worst sort.”

The Sri Lankan state, genetically impotent in forging a national polity for the island, had no limits in its duplicity in nullifying Tamil political organisation. Cultural pluralism is a convenient fad in some of the elite lips today to camouflage Colombo-centric capitalist greed. Pluralism has gone with the wind ever since colonial orientalism re-invented Mahavamsa to become the basis for the idea of state, forcing even leftists to betray their principles. Tamil political organisation was accused as Jaffna-centric while more than 50 percent of the island’s wealth is Colombo-centric. It was accused as caste-centric, replacing casteism with communalism, while no one other than belonging to a particular caste of Sinhalese could become a monk in the leading Buddhist chapters formidable in the island’s polity.

Responding to all sorts of challenges and evolving social inclusion, the polity of Tamils has irreversibly graduated into Tamil nationalism with local genius, thanks to state oppression, international victimisation and the course of militancy.

Tamil national question today appeals to an array of oppressed masses deprived of political justice all over the world. It is a topic that appeals to progressive minds thinking of restructuring the polity of human civilisation.

The responsibility of Eezham Tamils and their diaspora is to present the case with a progressive political theme and language.

Lionel Bopage has hinted that Tamil militancy was only aiming to liberate the homeland from the occupying forces but it has not attempted to destabilise the Sri Lankan state. He says the old JVP was aiming at total destabilisation of the state.

If properly structured, the political organisation of Tamil nationalism is sure to find congenial partnership with alternative Sinhala polity in destabilising the Sri Lankan state, which would be an achievement to the island and to the world civilisation.

Any successful political move doesn’t come from negativism.

There may be a thousand odd slips in the course of Tamil militancy that are now going to be exaggerated by the ‘victorious’ opponents to demoralise Tamils and to confirm subjugation.

Tamils should carefully deduce and grasp in mind the theoretical, strategic and tactical drawbacks of the past, but these cannot be the cornerstones for political resurgence.

Political resurgence comes from holding on to positive achievements.

It should be clearly remembered that neither the war nor the cause of Ezham Tamils has ever been surrendered. A consensus is emerging now in the diaspora for its global unification as evidenced by the spontaneous moves for a number of global outfits. Above all, the most positive development is the awakening of the diaspora youth. The direct involvement of them in the protests of the last stage of war has given them an ownership of the struggle, enlightened them of the world they deal with and relieved them from myopia.

The vital point to be kept in mind is that resurgence of Tamil politics should begin from the people, by the people and for the people. It cannot and should not begin from the intelligence agencies and embassies. Those days have gone and Tamils have seen enough of them. The rot should be kept far away until Tamils organise themselves.

Some intelligence agencies in the West are said to be advising the diaspora youth to join Sinhala political parties than maintaining separate polity for Tamils. There is also a microscopic section in the diaspora believing in Rajapaksa remedy, even after seeing what has happened to people of the shade of opinion like Dayan Jayatillake. Tamils willingly finding fellowship with island-wide political parties can happen only with parties such as of Vikramabahu Karunaratne that are prepared to recognise Tamils as a nation in the island entitled to the right to self-determination.

A lot of questions come about a democratically formed transnational government. TamilNet has already published a few articles on this, initiating the debate. As an alternative government having no territory, its power comes only from the will of people and its ability to do service. It cannot have any affiliation to any organisation.

Transnational governance is not an elite exercise coming from the above and asking the people to vote. Such an exercise, when not orientated in the grass root, is always exposed to the danger of getting hijacked or succumbing to intimidation. But when it is formed with a clear bearing and mandate, through a series of democratic exercises in different parts of the world and if constituently linked from top to bottom, such a structure will be withstanding and cannot be ignored or sabotaged by anyone.

It is essentially as a matter of proclamation of the will of Eezham Tamils to the international community and to set a firm bearing for the transnational governance, efforts of re-mandating the main principle of Vaddukkoaddai Resolution are being organized in the diaspora, in different parts of the world.

The diaspora in Norway that has already re-mandated VR, with 99 percent assent in a 80 percent voter turn out is soon expected to experiment with an elected council for Eezham Tamils in Norway.

In the process of people taking over Tamil polity, the society, especially the diaspora that is in a position to materialise it now, needs new blood of politicians and it goes without saying that the diaspora youth has a major role to play.

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