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Response to Dayan Jayatilleke's article - Daily Mirror 02.12.08

Date: 09 December 2008
Source : TWG - By Joachim Anandan BSc CEng MICE

Many fears are born out of a febrile imagination. Dayan Jayatilleke imagines wildly, forcing an unholy connection between the Mumbai extremist Muslim attacks and the LTTE. It is saddening to note that this jingoist Ambassador has to lower his esteemed position, albeit in his personal view, to this dreadful gutter journalism. He has to realise that the tide has changed to make such claims sound like the aberrant voice in the wilderness. The mood of the international community is changing now to question the sincerity and the integrity of the Sri Lankan government with respect to the Tamil question. The slogan 'Tell the SL government to stop killing the Tamils' is heard outside as well as inside the British Parliament for the first time.

DJ's outburst must be the sour grape reaction to the unprecedented mammoth gathering of Tamils on Maaveerers' Day (Heroes' Day and incidentally it's not Mahaweera's Day as DJ calls it). Despite all the adverse publicity and protests from the Sinhala government and its racist supporters at the highest level, from New Zealand to the USA and Europe, over forty thousand Tamils in the UK gathered to pay their respect to the fallen freedom fighters. As one speaker put it eloquently, the gathering at ExCel excelled any other event of similar nature.

Britain being the land of justice, fair play, hope and glory, being the beacon of democracy, where not even a cabinet minister is above the Law, has allowed Maaveerers' Day celebration to be held in London for many years. British Tamils being law abiding and upright citizens, take full advantage of this cherished freedom in the U.K. This annual event is observed by decent people, within the legal constraints, to pay homage to those who sacrificed their lives for a better tomorrow so that Tamils will dwell with civilised citizens. Even though LTTE is banned in the UK for some mysterious reasons, Pongu Thamil and Maaveerers' Day in London have demonstrated that democracy and freedom are cherished here. War heroes are respected here in contrast to the bulldozed cemeteries in Sri Lanka.

DJ quoted from the former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge on Prabhakaran. She has also gone on records saying she is afraid of her own safety and the threat is not from Prabhakaran! The former minister and now a dissident MP Mr Mangala Samaraweera has told parliament that he's already received death threats for telling the truth that hurts the authorities. Mr Dayan Jayatilleke will be better off using his talents to put the house in order. If this is the pathetic plight of an ex-President and an ex-minister, God help the Tamils.

LTTE leader Prabhakaran, whose birthday is more popular all over the world than any other world leader, has been making statesman like speeches for many years. Only posterity will evaluate the gravity of the events in those speeches in chronological order. To harness the support of all the Tamils to free themselves from the deadlock when he said: 'At this historic juncture, I would request Tamils, in whatever part of the world that they may live in to raise their voices, firmly and with determination, in support of the freedom struggle of their brothers and sisters in Tamil Eelam'. When he said 'the sacrifices they made have no parallel in the history of the world' he meant it. The difference is that all those powers DJ was referring were fighting against one enemy, whereas LTTE are forced to fight against the entire world, which is hoodwinked by the SL government. And of course the dedication and the supreme sacrifice LTTE made are unparalleled. The Sinhala prisoners war released from Wanni will testify the humanitarian aspect of the LTTE administration.

DJ expressed or rather gave it away in his final paragraph. He says: 'This requires the creation of an authentically Sri Lankan identity. This requires the elimination of all discriminations and the implementation of genuine regional / provincial autonomy'. Sixty years of Sri Lankan history has proved that as long as the Sinhala chauvinist elements are there, this is not going to be a reality. If there was at least one honest and sincere Sinhala leader since the independence we wouldn't be wasting our time as we do now. The Provincial Councils were tried in the 70s and failed because there was no political will to steer them.

Prabhakaran had the vision to see that nothing was going to come from the south. Now, quarter of a century and God knows how may thousands lives later, two nations are a world apart and confirmed totally incompatible. The hard line in the south has contributed enormously towards the creation of Tamil Eelam and Prabhakarans all over the globe. DJ will do well advising his own side, instead of pontification.

The Indian Generals who fought against the LTTE and studied their leadership have said that Prabhakaran has only one aim - Tamil Eelam. Foreign journalist who watched the events from a distance concluded that no political solution for the Tamils will emerge without Prabhakaran. Sixty years of independence has brought nothing but tragedy to our island.

A Daily Telegraph correspondent quoted the following: Sri Lanka's newspapers which always had to tread carefully in a small political world, are now being forced to speaking unanimously though a tight pro-government muzzle. Those who dare to speak are politically exiled, threatened with death or worse, visited by one of the dreaded government snatch-squads in their 'white vans' and beaten, tortured or killed. Certainly the Ambassador won't be happy to read this.

He also quoted General Fonseka's infamously bigoted interview to Canada National Post:

'I strongly believe that this country belongs to the Sinhalese but there are minority communities and we treat them like our people… We being the majority of the country, 75%, we will never give in and we have the right to protect this country…We are also a strong nation…They can live in this country with us. But they must not try to, under the pretext of being a minority, demand undue things.'

The correspondent wrote: 'I quote these since they shine a light into the thinking that lies behind so much of the lies and repression that is currently going on in Sri Lanka at the moment.

Lord Soulbury must be turning in his grave now.


Source: Tamil Writers Guild by Joachim Anandan BSc CEng MICE
Date: 09 December 2008

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