Tamils of Tamil Nadu - We salute you for your support in our worst peril
The xenophobic forces of the Sinhalese army are cock a hoop with chants of triumphalism at the apparent defeat of the Tamil resistance in the Vanni. Lest it be forgotten, you cannot defeat an ideal except meet it with reason. Those who fight and fade away, live to fight another day. The Tamils have fought with guts and bare hands against an arsenal of weapons that the Sri Lankan state has amassed primarily from China, Pakistan, Israel and Ukraine. The state's coffers have been emptied by this glut of armaments. The autocratic and racist President, his unscrupulous brothers, Gota and Basil and their senior henchmen in the armed forces have defalcated a vast amount of the national exchequer and deflected it for themselves into foreign bank accounts.
The good people of Tamil Nadu and their leaders have seen the death and destruction wrought on the Tamils of Eelam by the blood-thirsty Sinhalese and their armed forces. It is not a day too soon for our consanguineous brothers, the Tamils of Tamil Nadu, to raise their voices to stop this massacre of the Tamils of Eelam. We salute you and appeal to you to keep up the pressure on the Indian central government to intervene decisively with the Sri Lankan government to stop this grim military adventure. India as a major regional power should ensure the stability of region and counter the growing China - Pakistan influence from creating an anti-Indian axis with Sri Lanka. The Sinhala Sri Lankan government cannot afford to ignore this clarion call from India to stop the genocide of the Tamils.
The recidivist Sinhala forces have already captured the Tamil East and have installed a well known killer responsible for the assassination of the Tamil Parliamentarian Joseph Pararajasingham, as their puppet Chief Minister to subjugate the Tamils living there. The Sinhalese have now turned their blood lust on the North, where they have bombed and blasted without compunction the Tamil people out of their homes and hearths. 250,000 Tamils enfeebled by continuous war have fled, away from government forces, even further north into ever decreasing areas of jungle and snake infested barren land, where they live in tents or in the open. It is in fact an euphemism to call it any form of 'living' as it is really the barest of survival in fear of ruthless government bombardment, starvation, lack of water and sanitation and the ever present snakes. Any food lift organized for these hapless people by the UN and INGOs has been arbitrarily delayed by the government on flimsy grounds, while at the same time the government has bombed and destroyed an important road bridge that serves the roadway which was used by the lorries that transported the first food convoy.
It is important for the world to take stock of what is happening in the country before deciding how to respond to it. The country is suffering from rampant inflation and the struggling masses of Sri Lanka have been reduced to penury by the greed and political chicanery of the ruling elite. Parliamentary democracy is a mere parody in a country where the Parliamentarians of the governing party are in hock to the President and his cabal of brothers for ministerial positions that they hold.
The opposition MPs are purloined by money and ministerial portfolios too, resulting in an emaciated opposition to the President's misrule.
The country with a cabinet of over 100 ministers has created a world record for the Guiness Book. With this size of cabinet, it is impossible to discuss any cabinet paper in any detail and all decisions are taken by the dreaded Rajapakse brotherhood and rubber stamped by the cabinet. The West knows that it is just a fašade of democracy and yet makes a deplorable acceptance of this grave dereliction of democracy for diplomatic convenience to its eternal shame.
Mahinda Rajapakse has also attempted to thwart the writ of the judiciary of the country in the administration of justice. The Chief Justice has stood up to this bullying and found the Presidential Advisor and Head of the Civil Service, P.B. Jayasundera, guilty of corrupt practice, but Mahinda Rajapakse performed the charade of refusing to accept his resignation and carried on with Jayasundera as if the judgment did not matter a jot. It was when the Chief Justice called up the case again to review that the President was forced to accept Jayasundera's resignation from the Civil Service post but installed him in a more influential position.
This Presidential hubris continues unabated with the recent nomination of a known professional killer, Karuna as a Member of Parliament to threaten other MPs with murder if they dared oppose his autocratic rule. Karuna and his accomplice, the Chief Minister of the East, Pillayan of the TMVP, have launched a trail of death and kidnappings in Colombo, the East and the North. Along with his connections to the Sinhala underworld, they provide the President with the menace to rid himself of all opposition. The recent assassination of his opponent General Janaka Perera of the opposition United National Party, is laid by many commentators at the feet of the President via the TMVP suicide cadres.
The chief tormentor of the Tamils in the battlefield is General Sarath Fonseka, the Commander of the Sri Lankan Army, who has projected his vile anti-Tamil hatred to infect and inflame further the rabid ultra nationalistic Sinhalese elements and their fiendish cheer leaders, the fanatical Buddhist monks. General Fonseka has told the Canadian newspaper 'The National Post' recently that Sri Lanka belongs to the Sinhalese, who are the majority in the country. It is this form of militant ignorance of democracy and human rights at the highest level among the Sinhalese that has caused rabid Sinhala nationalism and consequent bloodshed among the minorities. General Fonseka has stepped into an overt political role and should no longer be the Commander of the armed forces.
The Sinhalese majority has never been able to comprehend that democracy means not just the counting of heads and installing the dictates of a majoritarian dictatorship upon a minority. In common parlance, the rights of a minority in a true democracy have to be enshrined in law, never to be traduced at its whim by a partisan majority.
Each individual also should have rights preserved as regards his language and religion and equality of opportunities. Every individual should have his right guaranteed in law to reach any position on merit and merit alone, and not be discriminated against because of language, religion or any other persuasion.
In the political, economic and moral morass in which Sri Lanka finds itself, it is heartening to note the moral courage that Tamil Nadu politicians have shown in demonstrating their abhorrence of the genocidal attacks on the innocent Tamil civilians of the Vanni. It sounds as if the plaintive screams of the 250.000 Tamils herded into the killing fields of the Vanni have been heard as far as Tamil Nadu. Bomber aircraft and multi-barrel rocket launchers of the Sri Lankan armed forces relentlessly pound areas where these civilians have sought shelter causing mayhem and destruction. Has President Rajapakse no feeling of human pity?
Well, fortunately for us such sympathy and solidarity abound in the hearts of the Tamil Nadu politicians and our brothers and sisters of Tamil Nadu. They have staged fasts and demonstrations to mark their concerns and to call for action from the Indian government. We wish to express our deepest gratitude to Dr Karunanidhi, Madam Jayalalitha, Dr Ramadoss, the CPI (M) and to the countless organizers and the public that supported these events. We are also grateful to the Indian government and its Defence Advisor Narayanan for calling in the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner to caution Sri Lanka against continuing to attack Tamil civilians. The Indian government has also expressed its displeasure to Sri Lanka at the lack of progress on the long promised political package for substantial negotiations with the Tamils. Sri Lanka must know that it cannot continue to pull wool over the eyes of India and the rest of the world. It has got to abandon the military route to conquest to appease the likes of General Sarath Fonseka and Mahinda Rajapakse who, as ultra nationalists, are known to hold vehement anti Indian sentiments. The redoubtable and excellent Kanimozhi, the elegant daughter of the venerable Kalaignar Karunanidhi, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, has resigned from her parliamentary seat yesterday, in protest at the lack of firm Indian government deterrent action against Sri Lanka. Bravo to this Princess amongst us.
It is still not the dawn of a new age for the Tamils of Sri Lanka but the first rays of sunlight are beginning to shine through on the horizon. Sri Lanka even yesterday brazenly bombed undefended civilian settlements in Manthuvil and Puddukudiyirippu. Our brethren in Tamil Nadu are waking up to the genocide of the Eelam Tamils that is taking place next door to them. The great giant of India too is waking up from its slumber. Together they need to continue to exercise their undoubted power and influence in the region to stop this phoney war on terrorism and prevail on Sri Lanka to desist forthwith from shamefully attacking innocent Tamil civilians.
We have hope that the Tamils of Eelam will not be devoured by the Sinhala dragon in a frenzy of racism. The Tamils of Eelam are twinned in their hearts with the Tamils of Tamil Nadu; long may their affinity, language, culture and civilization live in harmony with others.
Ivan Pedropillai B.Sc., M.Sc., FCCA, FCMA
Chief Editor, Tamil Writers Guild, UK
Source: Tamil Writers Guild
Date: 16h October 2008