The brave new world is leaving the Tamil separatists behind
Posted on November 3rd, 2010
H. L. D. Mahindapala
One week President Mahinda Rajapakse is sitting between India’s Prime Minister and Vice President at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. Within a fortnight he is sitting next to the Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao at the closing ceremony of the spectacular 2010 International Expo held in Shanghai. This is a vastly different scenario from that of William Hague, the British Foreign Minister, sitting in the high chair with a straight back and seating supplicant Ranil Wickremesinghe in the low chair as a well-trained, low-caste stooge of the white man.
The symbolism is significant: overnight Sri Lanka, under President Rajapakse, has earned a strategically important place in the new world order dominated by the emerging two Eastern giants, India and China. The West no longer counts as it did in the past. It is becoming increasingly irrelevant though it continues to make strident noises. For instance, the noises made by David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, in the House of Commons is nothing more than hot air. The House of Commons is no longer the commanding seat of power that shook the world. Once upon a time it consisted of formidable men whose word meant practically everything to at least half the world. Now it consists of vote-catching, unprincipled political pimps who insist that sovereign nations like Sri Lanka should do what they say and not do what they do. The Conservative Camerons and Labour Millibands have yet to learn that Britannia no longer rules the waves of the world.
Rejecting patronizing neo-colonialism Sri Lanka has reacted assertively with the clear intention of teaching its former colonial master some telling lessons in diplomacy. First President Ranasinghe Premadasa unceremoniously sent home David Gladstone, the then British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, for trying to poke his unwanted nose in the domestic affairs of Sri Lanka. Gotabaya Rajapakse did one better: he sent two Foreign Ministers of big powers in the West – Bernard Kouchner (France) and David Milliband (Britain) – back to the hole from which they came when they tried to interfere in the internal affairs of the nation. The importance of dismissing two Foreign Ministers, asking them to put their own house in order first, cannot be underestimated, coming especially from a tiny island with no comparable clout of the combined power of two Big Brothers. Snubbing both England and France in one stroke is, perhaps, one of the biggest political statements Sri Lanka ever made on the world stage. Ever since then Sri Lanka has grown in confidence telling the West to jump in the Atlantic Ocean with their hypocritical morality.
The declining power of the West in global affairs was further demonstrated in Geneva by Ambassador Dayan Jayatillake who turned tables on the West when they attempted to put Sri Lanka on the mat. Sri Lanka has faced the arm-twisting challenges posed by the West and survived without depending excessively on the traditional relationships. The West has gone as far as cutting off the GSP+. It is like cutting your nose to spite your face. What more can the West do? It can pass as many censures as it wants none of which will have the force to compel Sri Lanka to obey its commands. At worst, it will be an irritant that will pass sooner than later.
The days when Sri Lanka trembled when the West raised it voice are over. The last was when the Co-Chairs of the West dictated to Sri Lanka the terms handed to them by the Tamil Tigers. The main man who was acting as the agent of the Tamil Tigers, Erik Solheim, is now sitting at the bottom of one of Norway’s political fjords trying to figure out what hit him. In the new era Sri Lanka can afford to ignore the West primarily because no meddlesome son of a witch can touch the president who is now sitting comfortably between China and India. The growing importance of Sri Lanka to India and China makes the West almost irrelevant to Sri Lanka.
Gotabaya Rajapakse’s bold decision to send back France and Britain empty handed signaled the new era in Sri Lanka’s foreign policy. Perhaps, more than any other act, this stands out as the towering symbol of Sri Lanka’s commitment to stand up to the big bullies and assert its independence. Though we gained independence on February 4, 1948 we finally triumphed as an independent nation only after Gotabaya threw out just not England but France also out of Sri Lanka. This is the stuff that goes into history books and not the reams of theoretical piffle defecated by the hired hacks in NGOs.
The new political equation has a special meaning to the Tamil Diaspora in particular which still relies on the impotent West to pull their chestnuts out of the fire. They have a limited electoral clout in the West as the organ grinders for the monkeys in the House of Commons and other Western parliaments to dance to their tune. But how far can these Western simians influence Sri Lanka? Sri Lanka is speeding ahead without the favours of the West. For instance, Sri Lanka has climbed to the 59th position among 110 nations in the World Prosperity Index released on November 1, 2010. This is a jump of nine points from its position in 2009, beating even India. .
The tactic of the Tamil Diaspora was aimed at forcing Sri Lanka to bend to their will by using their political agents in Western parliaments and bureaucracies. They have tried to mount pressure on Sri Lanka under cover of human rights but where has it taken them? They also targeted financial institutions like the IMF and the World Bank to cut off aid. As usual they have failed because their agents in the West no longer wield the kind of power they did in the colonial era to make or break nations. Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrate more the impotence of the West than their strength. As a last resort, not knowing where to turn, the frustrated Tamil Diaspora is struggling to crank up issues of war crimes to put the screws on Sri Lanka. But not all the lung power of David Cameron in the House of Commons will force Sri Lankan to change its own way of handling the post-war issues.
Besides, the politically expedient morality of British foreign policy, with its usual pretensions of high principles, does not qualify Prime Minister Cameron to pronounce judgments on Sri Lankan affairs. For instance, before Cameron accuses Sri Lanka of committing war crimes he should answer why he is still harbouring Adele Balasingham, the LTTE “Aunty”, who recruited under-aged girls and trained them to be the first female gang of Tamil Tiger terrorists in violation of international humanitarian law. In fact, this is an issue that should be taken up by Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy who is paid by the UN to look after children. Cameron should also answer why Britain provided a safe haven for Anton Balasingham, the LTTE ideologue, his wife and self-confessed agents of Tigers who promoted Tamil terrorism from their London bases in contravention of Security Council Resolution 1373.
David Cameron has no moral right to accuse Sri Lanka of violating human rights when successive British governments exported terrorism from its shores by way of financing a terrorist war in Si Lanka with funds raised in Britain. Large sums of money raised in Britain from well-established British terrorist bases, operating under the noses of British authorities, provided the oxygen for the Tamil Tigers to run amok in Sri Lanka killing more Tamils than all other forces put together. Will he, or the UN, make the necessary moves to appoint a panel to investigate the violations of international law relating to the financing, propagandizing and harbouring Tamil Tigers in English bases – all which are illegal under SC Resolution 1373?
If the Tamil Disapora is depending on the forked-tongued hypocrisy of Cameron, then they are most welcome to dream on till the cows of Jaffna come home. It is time they realized that they cannot get anywhere by manipulating their Western bases. They tried their best at the height of the Vadukoddai War to save Prabhakaran. He was the best the Tamil Diaspora had to get anywhere near their elusive “Pee-laam”. Prabhakaran’s failure was the failure of all the deluded Tamil separatists. They also tried to influence IMF and World Bank to cut off aid. Today the IMF is bending over backwards to give tranches to Sri Lanka over the counter.
It is abundantly clear that after Nanthikadal the misled Tamil separatists have lost their bearings. They have no leader, they have no compass and they are helpless after their future sank to the bottom of Nanathikadal Lagoon. The nation has moved on to front row of the world stage and the misguided Tamils are still hanging on to the tails of the West. They are banking on their Western agents and I/NGOs who can only parrot their mantras in Western fora like the House of Commons, or the Canadian and Australian parliaments. They have tried this tactic over and over again and it has taken them only as far as Nanthikadal. Can they now hope to go one millimeter beyond Nanthikadal? What results can they reap by listening to their ventriloquists repeating their failed mantras in Western media and parliaments?
Once, Prof. Kumar David, last of the living Tamil Trotskyites, branded the Jaffna Tamils as “congenital idiots” for not grabbing the opportunities opened to them by the Marxists. Unfortunately, there are no signs of the Jaffna Tamils in the Diaspora providing an alternative better than another Nanthikadal. Having lost all their human and financial investments in Nanthikadal they have turned to their Provisional Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (PTGTE) which is nothing more than a pie in the sky illusion they can never reach. It is just another route to commit hara-kiri. Tamils don’t need any external enemies to commit genocide. They are their best self-executioners. And they couldn’t have found a better executioner than Prabhakaran to do the job for them. Tamil leaders now admit that he killed more Tamils than all the other forces put together.
Yet the Freudian reaction of the defeated Tamil separatists is to go back into the dark womb of Vadukoddai, where it all began. This certifies their “congenital idiocy”. The Eelam Peoples Revolutionary Liberation Front in a recent statement told the Indian Newsagency IANS (November 1, 2010): “‘The diaspora has to be realistic in defining a Tamil political solution,’ an EPRLF leader told IANS on telephone from London. ‘The time has come when the politics of negativity has to be given up.
‘Now that the war has ended, people must take a different approach (towards Tamil political issues),’ he said. ‘Negative politics pursued by the LTTE and its supporters will only worsen the situation.’
Though some deluded Tamils are still expecting Prabhakaran to rise from the murky waters of Nanthikadal they must be realistic and learn that there is no future in returning to their failed past. They must move on to the next level of building the only viable option: a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious nation without boundaries for Sinhalese, Tamils or Muslims. To draw boundaries for any single community is like drawing boundaries on the waters of Nanthikadal. There isn’t much of a choice for the Tamils in the Diaspora. It is limited to just two:.1. either they accept the new realities and agree on a positive plan of peaceful co-existence with all the other communities or 2, they go back to the ill-fated bunch of “congenital idiots” who fathered the Vadukoddai Resolution on May 14, 1976 and led the innocent Tamil children to Nanthikadal?.
If they pick 2 they must accept full responsibilities for the consequences awaiting them at the next Nanthikadal.