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Choosing the lesser evil

[Press Release, Saturday, 26 December 2009 17:14 No Comment]

At the last Presidential election the Tamil leadership through its shortsightedness with no insight into the consequences of their action, helped through default, to elect a President who proved a disaster to the Tamil people in every conceivable way. The Tamils had to contend with not only Mahinda Rajapakse who vowed to liberate them but also the members of his family and his sycophants. They have to vote also for his family, God’s gift to the Sri Lankan peoples. Though they cannot make a man a woman they have absolute power over their life and death whether they be politicians, media personnel, members of Parliament or even cricketers.  The treatment meted out to the IDPs an integral slice of the Tamil nation, the war crimes, other crimes against humanity  and genocide epitomise the core   Sinhala chauvinist attitude  towards the Tamil speaking  peoples.

In this election the Tamil Diasporas have no moral right to be pedantic and or patronizing to tell the Tamil people how to exercise their vote. Given the very narrow choice, the people in this instance must use their own instinct, their impulse and common sense drawing from their own experiences in the recent past. For the Tamil voters, never major stakeholders   politics has always been a gamble. The Tamil people as usual will gamble once again.

With little or no democracy in Sri Lanka the Tamil people must not stray from the fact that they have to vote as individual persons and not as members of a political group. It is an individual voting for an individual. In this contest the distinctions between political parties the contestants represent if at all are a paper thin veneer.  The contest is virtually between the Rajapakse family and the common candidate Fonseka.  One has been tested and the other not. In this instance the known devil could not  have been any worse. What Fonseka has revealed so far, in slow release mode, is just the tip of the iceberg. What has been revealed turn out  not only to be plain murders but also outright massacres of the scale of unimaginable morbid sadism, reminiscent of the 1983 pogrom, evidently with Indian complicity. During the final stages of the war, India  wished to "finish off’ the war before their elections but now are quick to distance themselves from any Sri Lankan claim that their assistance was indispensable.

Fonseka’s subsequent denial, however, does not make his revelations untrue, already corroborated by reliable Norwegian sources and confirmed by the prestigious Times of the UK supported by the opinion of an expert recognized as a pioneer in forensic video analysis applications. Grant Fredericks has been examining video evidence for over twenty-five years. There is more on the crimes against humanity and corruption to come. Not that Fonseka loves the Tamils any more than the Rajapakses but his fortuitous intervention at this juncture comes as a God send for the vindication of the Tamil  cause for  justice, ironically though, and typical of Sri Lankan politics. We hope he survives this election at least for his own sake with all the odds militating against him. Telling the truth does not make him a traitor as made out by some. He is given to no mincing of words a quality to be admired. The devil must be given its due and may God save the devil from any harm!

The criminality of the war crimes is not mitigated or negated merely because they were committed against Tamil militants and their families. Mahinda Rajapakse is commander in chief, minister for defence and the executive Head of the State  and therefore responsible for all war crimes whether committed by the military personnel, his brother the secretary for defence and/or other senior public officers by commission or by omission notwithstanding the time and hour they were committed and cannot take cover under the plea of an ‘act of state’. They are, of course, presumed innocent until proven guilty but should the Tamil speaking people wait until then when they now have a chance to give their verdict in no uncertain terms at this juncture.

Commitments by the numerous Tamil political parties to support one or the other candidate are of no consequence at this stage. Some of the so called leaders of these parties cannot on their own merit, even muster more than a double digit number of votes even in the electoral districts  of their own choice, exceptions being the TNA, Mano Ganeshan’s Western People’s Front, Rauf Hakeem’s Sri Lanka Muslim Congress. Going by the past record of the CWC and their leadership, there is the strong possibility of their leader negotiating a deal with the candidate most likely to win at the last moment.

What is of importance, if at all, to the Tamil speaking peoples would be  their ability to negotiate with the executive President or the prime minister as the case may be  at  the parliamentary elections said to come after the presidential elections. It is important for the  Tamil speaking political parties to note that  the IDPs  have now become a permanent  feature  with no homes to go to, leading nomadic lives  giving rise to a new subservient "caste"   soon to be born out of the prisoners of war treated as nomads or gypsies, as was the genesis of  other castes considered low, to be exploited and oppressed. Already three IDPs have lost their lives in the floods and a thousand rendered homeless. In a media interview Palitha Kohonna, the now Sri Lankan Ambassador to the UN, while being the secretary to foreign affairs when asked about the resettlement of the IDPs, besides giving the usual excuse of de-mining their homes, cynically stated further: "Water has to be connected, electricity has to be connected, the schools and clinics have to be rehabilitated and the roads have to be restored. It’s a huge challenge, and we hope that the international community will assist us in this."  Are the IDPs still waiting for these?  Preposterous.  It is little wonder that a liar of such pre-eminence should be elevated to be the permanent representative to the most appropriate place the UN to make himself at home.

Constantly blessed with the triple gem, the Madras Hindu, like any other subservient Sri Lankan state controlled newspaper, had been carrying  some doctored versions of interviews with President Rajapakse during the war  to boost his triumphal  image. With its anti Tamil stance it tries to influence the thinking in New Delhi on the Tamil question and in turn reflect their views. The Indian government in their hypocrisy are still busy with their Gandhian experiments  with the truth which is  becoming increasingly elusive as to undermine Tamil aspirations and hopes.

Given the very high stakes for the Rajapakse family having everything to lose,  exceedingly  higher  than those of  Fonseka, it is extremely important for them to win the presidency at whatever cost .They will resort to anything and everything. They have to protect themselves from the consequences of the allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity; reap the results of unprecedented corruption, nepotism and family bandyism, wanton waste, suppression of any dissent and the freedom of expression. There is also their need to consolidate whatever   has been  amassed and to continue the process of stabilizing the supremacy of their "royal" dynasty now in the making. It would be politically suicidal for the Tamils not to be conscious of this and be used as  pawns in their game.

The Tamils have to choose between the lesser of the evils. One has already proved himself, the other is yet to do so and the Tamils have to tread very carefully in the midst of  mass scale rigging, intimidation  and death threats especially in the military controlled Tamil areas. Hitler worked on the premise that memories of the people were short when it came to politics. Tamil speaking peoples should not be taken for a ride again. Their liberation was not to be made nomads or permanent prisoners of war with no homes or homelands of their own, the basis of the right to self determination.

- Eelam Nation

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