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Reply to Vickramabahu Karunarathne

Lyon Perera Melbourne Australia

I thought of writing a reply to Dr Vickramabahu Karunarathne's article with the heading 'Nalin, Champika and Prabhakaran' as it contains absurd attempts to justify separation, terrorism as well as the Tamil homeland concept. With gratitude to JVP leader Mr Somawansa Amarasinghe ,I must say that I have used most valuable points in his replies on the National issue through Lanka Academic in this connection.

One needs to actually read the 6th paragraph of his article first. It states. 'But surprisingly some people are really convinced that Tamils did not face any discrimination in the past. This is totally false. In fact all Tamil speaking people faced a major problem when Sinhala only was implemented under the pretext of turning to Suwabasa from English.'

So Mr Karunarathne too agrees with the fact that the discrimination was in the past. No sane person would believe that creation of a separate Tamil Homeland (or the so called eelam) now would anyway help the Tamils who suffered or were discriminated in the past when more than 60% of the Tamils are living in areas other than North & East today. Then the 5th para states about 'homeland' and 'autonomy' concepts.

Is Mr Karunarathne aware that "Right to Self-determination of nations" appeared in Marxist literature for the first time in a resolution passed by the congress of the International of the Social Democratic Parties or commonly known as the second International held at St. Martin's hall in London from 27th July to 1st August, 1896. There were three resolutions on Poland before the congress. Poland was a country beleaguered and annexed by three Empires, namely, the Russian Empire, the Austrian Empire and the Prussian Empire in the years of 1772, 1793, 1795.

In a message sent to the International Rally held in Geneva in November 1880 to commemorate the uprising in 1830 of Poland against foreign domination, Marx and Engels said " Let Poland be free". The resolution passed at the London congress in 1896 one year after the death of Fredrich Engels, clearly states " the congress accepts the right to self-determination of the nations and expressed solidarity to the workers of all countries.

The resolution does not stop there. Then, it appeals to all class-conscious workers of all countries to unite to defeat International Capitalism and to launch a united struggle to fulfil the aims of International Social democracy.

However, after April 1917 Lenin abandoned the formula because it became outdated. Hence a right is not an absolute phenomenon. It is relative. Separatist organisations all over the world misinterpret the formula only to achieve their own selfish aims. Not to give rights to the people. The plight of the Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian and Albanian people in former Yugoslavia is a classic example.

These people do not enjoy equal rights after separation achieved through bloody wars and enormous sacrifices. Separation is only beneficial to imperialism and their local agents who dragged the people into bloody conflicts. Tamil people will not gain anything but suffering, under a tyranny after a separation, if it is allowed to occur in the future.

We have no doubt whatsoever those who are responsible for ethnic cleansing in Sri Lanka will not be saviours of the Tamil people. Armed separatists chased away the unarmed Sinhalese and TAMIL SPEAKING Muslim people from Northern province long before ethnic cleansing took place in former Yugoslavia.

Now they are living in refugee camps without any hope whatsoever of returning to the North. This shows us how; the so-called Tamil Ealam will look like if it is allowed to be established. Those who are unable to love a person not belonging to their own ethnic origin, religion, caste, sex. etc; are not able to love their own people.

Why don't you talk about the Self-determination of Sinhalese and Muslim people in Sri Lanka? Just try to imagine what will happen to the 60% of the Tamil population living in provinces other than Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka if Sinhalese communalists also put into practice " the right to self-determination" in the same manner the Tamil communalist separatists practiced it.

Do you really wish that 60% of the Tamil population must be forced out and chased to the North and East?

Do you expect the security forces to stop the exodus? Alternatively, do you expect an international peace keeping force to stop it happening?

Do you think Sri Lanka should be allowed to fall into the abyss that Cyprus fell into more than two decades ago? No sane person would.

Although you refer India as a collection of 'homelands' are you aware that the devolution powers those estates enjoy are no more than those enjoyed by provincial councils?

Then in paragraphs (7), (8) and (3) you have attempted to justify that LTTE is the liberators of the Tamils and they are the true representatives of the Tamil people.

Mr Karunarathne, are you aware that the LTTE carried out indiscriminate killings and it will continue to do so in future too.

A true liberation organisation never thinks of killing innocent people who are worshipping their god. You should remember with utmost contempt the killing of TAMIL SPEAKING MUSLIMS, who were praying in a Mosque. The LTTE carried out armed attacks at Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura. The LTTE thought that it could ignite riots when they planted a bomb at Dalada Maligava, one of the most sacred religious centres.

One may argue that their attacks were carried out as retaliation to attacks against Tamil civilians by the security forces. If an armed organisation, calling itself a liberation organisation, carries out military operations against civilians in the same, irresponsible manner in which security forces carry out military operations, that liberation organisation ceases to be one, and immediately becomes a terrorist organisation.

Just imagine the number of innocent unarmed civilians killed by the LTTE. They are children, women and men who had no involvement in the war whatsoever. The LTTE did not care about how many Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim civilians would be killed when they planted a bomb in a highly dense public place. The LTTE never gave warning to the innocent people before a blast. How can such a organisation be a liberation organisation? The LTTE attains all the characteristics to be described a terrorist organisation. That is why it should be called a terrorist organisation.

One who reads pars (9) and (10) wonders how childishly you have attempted again to justify the barbaric acts of the so-called liberators LTTE. You say 'Their barbarism and cruelty are products of oppression and discrimination.' If so, what should the victims (poor Singhalese, Muslim as well as Tamil villagers who used to live in the North & East) of their barbaric acts do?' Who will liberate those who democratically oppose the LTTE?

Talking about Nationalism;

NATIONALISM is not going to be harmful to anyone in the world who respects Sri Lanka, who accepts Sri Lanka's sovereignty, it's independence and it's dignity, let alone the Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and other people in Sri Lanka. NATIONALISM is aimed at safeguarding the interests of the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim people of Sri Lanka in particular and building an INTERNATIONAL to safeguard the interests of the people of the world over without interfering into internal affairs of other countries in the world. Only true PATRIOTIC INTERNATIONALISTS are able to defeat neo-colonialist aspects of globalisation.

Hence Nationalism is not Sinhalism, Tamilsm or Muslimsm but it is something required to safeguard the interests of all the people living in Sri Lanka. Not only Countries such as Vietnam, China but countries like Malaysia have protected their interests through their own Nationalism.

Mr Vickramabahu Karunarathne,

You are not only misinterpreting Marxist theories to help the chauvinist Tamil extremists but making useless attempts to fool all the communities in Sri Lanka. What else could some one like you who is wondering in the political desert do?


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