Eezham Tamils on counterinsurgency, development conquistadors and economic integrators

TamilNet, 01 September 2010


Tamil people: from the suppression to the camps

Whether in the diaspora or in the island, observers can clearly perceive that there is an orchestrated effort in recent times to simulate a politics for Tamils, keeping them under constrains rather than allowing them freely to spontaneously voice their aspirations.

On one side the US Asst. Secretary of State outlined in June an agenda to encourage new business development in the north and to ensure power-devolvement to new democratic institutions in the north.

This must have certainly inspired a particular shade of political opinion among Eezham Tamils.

On the other side, India is primarily keen on Indo-Lanka economic integration and harps on the failed 13th Amendment as a solution.

The Centre for Indo-Lanka Studies and the Pathfinder Foundation has recently commissioned researches on various facets of integration. Preceding economic integration India is working on academic integration by proposing batch-by batch training in India to university academics of the island and a Chennai-based media empire is working on media integration.

“Tata, Ashok Leyland, and Airtel has made tremendous improvement by investing in Sri Lanka and companies such as MAS Holdings, Brandix, Damro and John Keells has made their flagships in the Indian market very strongly”, said a Colombo media Saturday. They don’t represent the peoples of their countries or their real economy.

Building 50,000 houses by bringing in 20,000 workers, is not the issue. Whether Tamils have the right to build their own houses in their own land is the issue.

However, it is well known that there is a shade of political opinion mobilised behind India.

Both the USA and India have no emotional consolation to offer to the Eezham Tamils, who are long-struggling and long-affected primarily on the basis of the national question.

Both don’t recognize the existence of the national question that long predates the LTTE and both refuse to approach the crisis in ways appropriate to national questions.

Both are keen in buttressing the genocidal state and government in the island.

But both, harping on middle-class mentality, want Eezham Tamils to mobilise behind them blindly. Collaboration is dignified as ‘moderation’ but independent and spontaneous inner voice of Eezham Tamils is vilified as ‘extremism and terrorism’. Independent political thinking of Eezham Tamils is approached in ‘counterinsurgency’ ways.

Responsible people from both the camps now try to tell Eezham Tamils that there were political solutions kept up in their sleeves and there were plans to avoid the genocide but they didn’t work out due to the stand of the LTTE. It won’t be a surprise if evidences are going to be spun to that effect in the war-crimes investigations.

But no one of them can escape the question that if what they say is true, why there was that politics behind the back of the people. If people had been told of the reasonable solutions and plans there would have been a different kind of demonstration in the streets of the West and in Tamil Nadu.

When the powers lost their credibility of ‘behind the back politics’ whether the blind followers would be led only to a political Mu’l’livaaykkaal is the question raised by independent Tamil political observers.

Both the powers could do much better in getting whole-hearted support of the Tamil masses in their agendas if they acknowledge the national question a national question and come out with formulas suitable to it.

But political observers notice a competition to the contrary between the powers.

Many don’t see China, which doesn’t have socio-political leverage in the island, as the real problem. But the competition between the USA and India in the last six decades was the bane for Eezham Tamils.

When India’s non-alignment was a problem to the USA and Ceylon’s Prime Minister Kotalawela was on the US side, Nehru sacrificed the interests of the Up-Country Tamils to make Kotalawela participate the Bandung Conference.

Pro-US forces were working with J R Jayewardene in diffusing the Tamil question when Indira Gandhi took the side of Tamil militancy against Jayewardene who was favouring US economic and strategic influences coming into the island.

How the competition about Trincomalee between India and the USA influenced India to come out with the half-baked 13th Amendment and how the same competition led to the subsequent disgrace of India in the island have been discussed by many political analysts.

A Norwegian Tamil academic recently pointed out that India was against the Norwegian initiated peace process. The peace process was essentially seen as a US-led Western agenda.

What competition transpired between them during the Vanni war is still unknown. But, immediately after the war India, astonishingly aligning with China and Pakistan, thwarted the US-led move in the UN for international action in the island.

Some diplomatic circles predict that China may now side with the USA.

Three years ago TamilNet columns spoke about The International Chakkadaththaar and the dog that let the squirrel to climb the tree.

Tamil political observers didn’t fail to notice some recent trends in which KP and his NERDO are cold-shouldered and the projects of some other ‘development economists’ are favoured by India.

When such is the competition, Tamils have to decide whether it is advantageous to blindly follow any of them without any open assurances or it is advantageous to have an independent mainstream polity to convince them about the inevitability of solution to the national question. This is some thing the younger generation should consider seriously.

A key factor that can make both the contenders see the reality is the geopolitical leverage of Tamil Nadu. But those who can do it are sitting on it.

Intellectuals, committed nationalists and leftists among Eezham Tamils have a leading role to play in forging an independent polity. The same groups among the Sinhalese also have a role to play in bringing out the realisation among the Sinhalese of the need to resolve the national question even if it means secession to eventually pave way for genuine reconciliation.

Unfortunately the position taken by some Marxists among Eezham Tamils and sections of them in Tamil Nadu are worse than that of the Sinhala Marxists. By failing to see the inevitability of addressing the national question in ways appropriate to it, they only provide fodder for the imperialists and their quislings in the island.

It took six decades for some of them to come to the point of federal solution, which they vehemently opposed then. How long it may take for them to see the current reality one wonders. As usual in the contemporary history of Eezham Tamils, they miss the spirit of their ideology and the opportunity to mobilise and lead the masses.

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