(April 09, 2012, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The story of some “Tamil terrorists” having entered the North and East of Sri Lanka in the guise of fishermen is the latest canard to further repress the Tamil people. In the early 1960s, military posts were established and later consolidated as permanent establishments, ostentatiously to prevent the so called illegal immigrants from South India coming into the country. This only helped army and navy personnel to enrich themselves through smuggling or helping the smugglers at the expense of the Tamil people. Tamils have had to live under the harassment of the military ever since. After the crushing of the Tamil militants in May 2009, the Tamil people are being terrorized and have come under the complete subjugation and control of the security forces in the Sri Lankan Police State.
It appears that the Rajapakse brothers will be forever engaged in the never ending war against terrorism. Very convenient the latest entry of the terrorists is said to be from Tamil Nadu after having been trained there. It is strange that that this canard should have come out now immediately after the UN resolution establishing war crimes allegations against Sri Lanka and when the government is obligated to immediately implement the recommendations, rectify shortcomings let alone their own dubious and half hearted recommendations on reconciliation.
The Rajapakses cannot progress on the matters of reconciliation and accountability for they do not have the political will, the integrity or the moral courage to do so. Further in an environment where the masses as whole are getting disillusioned with the criminality, corruption and the fact they cannot provide any security to them to live in peace within a justice system that is now completely broken down where the law enforcers are themselves the culprits. The only thing that keeps the ruling clique propped up is their claim to have decimated Tamil terrorism. They have to invent stories of Tamil terrorism to also to feed the mass of the Sinhala people almost on the brink of starvation with such stories, living on notions of misplaced patriotism.
Mahinda Rajapakse, under the circumstances, inward looking, can address only his euphoric Sinhala constituency reminding them of his victory over the terrorists and the imperialist designs to bring back terrorism into Sri Lanka and divide it up, and in turn be applauded. His government is in such a parlous state that he cannot even control his own ministers comprising sycophants, clowns and criminals making wild and irresponsible statements.
The consequences of his erratic actions will tragically impact on the people of Sri Lanka. The idea of Tamil militancy generated by Tamil youth in desperation to fight the Sinhala chauvinist nationalist oppression has been blown out of proportion as being part of international terrorism. This has been a trend since the 9/11 calamity. Tamil militancy had never posed a threat to world peace nor was it a war against any other culture or a way of life. It had been purely political. We are not holding a brief for the manner in which the LTTE conducted themselves during their supreme dominance of the traditional homelands of the Tamils since the late 1980s. They however filled a void caused by helpless inaction on the part of democratically elected genuine Tamil political parties because of the violence used against them by the State to silence them.
The Sinhalese and the Tamils are separate and distinct nations. If one does not appreciate this concept then they cannot understand the Tamil question and appreciate their aspirations. The kind of Theravada or Mahayana Buddhism as obtaining in Sri Lanka is quite different from the kinds practiced in other Buddhist countries. Thanks to a Buddhist chronicle compiled centuries after the advent of Buddhism and the war between the Tamil king Elara and the Sinhalese king Dutu Gemunu, the Mahavamsa written by a Buddhist monk is replete with myths, distortions and the wishful thinking of the author, Mahanama. The Sri Lankan brand of Buddhism is tainted with these myths and has over the years become an integral part of the Buddhism peculiar only to Sri Lanka.
It was State sponsored Sinhala Buddhist terrorism that spawned Tamil militancy. The seeds were sown in 1956 when the post independence government under SWRD Bandaranaike made Sinhalese the official language pandering to Sinhalese extremism and xenophobia. He was so weak that he had to give in to the racist demands of the Buddhist clergy the Head of whom was to later have him murdered. Again we are led to believe that the massacre of the tens of thousands of innocent Tamils during the war of April/May 2009 was committed with the express blessings of the principal chapters of the Buddhist clergy in the true Mahavamsa Buddhist tradition. For example according to the Mahavamsa the following are words of consolation relayed to King Dutu Gemunu, by the saints, who is said to have repented over the killing of thousands of Tamils in the war against Elara: “From these deeds (killing of the Tamils) arises no hindrance in thy way to heaven…..Unbelievers and men of evil life were they, not more to be esteemed than beasts. But as for thee, thou will bring glory to the doctrine of Buddha in manifold ways; therefore cast away care from thy heart, O ruler of men”. This is now being applied to Mahinda Rajapakse as being the savior of the Sinhala Buddhists heralding the beginning of new nationalism amongst the Sinhalese polity, to justify the wanton killing of innocent Tamils.
We have always warned the international community as to how dangerous little learning on this matter can be, being of such importance to a nation that is in peril. The Rajapakse brothers want to portray to the world that they defeated terrorism. They merely destroyed tens of thousands of Tamil people and are in the process of further destroying their culture and even the little left of their reason to live as Tamils.
The Rajapakses have been relentlessly earning the utter hatred of the Tamil people even against the well meaning Sinhala people, a polarization that would be irreparable, leave, alone reconciliation a term that in Sri Lanka that has lost its meaning. They little realize that they are once again strengthening the resolve of the Tamil people to fight back. The Tamils cannot ever forget the Pogroms of 1956, 1958, 1977, 1979, 1981 and 1983 and cultural genocide by the burning of the Jaffna library, an extension to the policy of standardization introduced to limit Tamil students entering universities. Further extension of this is the Signalization of their traditional homelands and the destruction of their ancient sites of worship to b e replaced with Buddhist temples.
By any token, Sri Lanka is a racist State and will continue to be so given the current status quo. This has been evident ever since it became a so called sovereign State. A simple analogy of the limitations of sovereignty in relation to abuses of human rights and war crimes by the head of the State is the case of a head of a family abusing their members of the family sexually and physically with impunity. In such a case the neighbors have the obligation and duty to bring them to justice.
A case in point is the abuse of a father in Austria who kept his daughter who was bearing his children imprisoned for nearly twenty years quite against her will. The world breathed a sigh of relief when he was imprisoned. Likewise in Sri Lanka the Head of the State and his compatriots of the human rights abuses and war crimes must be brought to justice for their war crimes and acts of genocide. They cannot continue to operate under the guise of sovereignty with impunity with the innocent Tamil people being continued to be tortured, abducted, killed, terrorized and held captives without trial and thousands of displaced persons denied even basic housing.
( The writer is a editor of the EelamNation, an online journal)