Is the National Peace Council a Fifth Column of the LTTE?

R. Chandrasoma

When wounds fester, microbes have a glorious time. Would it be an exaggeration to say that ours is a wounded nation? Is it not true that a great wound - that inflicted by that tormentor of our nation, Pirapaharan - has, in recent weeks shown signs of a strange festering? The physicians in charge have airily dismissed this rottenness of the flesh as 'a healthy sign - an indication of a spectacular healing that is sure to come'.

Meanwhile Pirapaharan's pathogens swarm over the seriously debilitated body without let or hindrance. Making good use of this disarray is another species - the Peace Vendors - who have long thrived symbiotically with the real killers. The relation between these two kinds is best illustrated by referring to the agencies that weaken structural woodwork. A fungal infection rots the wood - which makes the deadlier work of wood-boring insects an easy matter.

The Peace-Vendors of Sri Lanka have long sought to weaken the fabric of our state - and to sap its morale - by hammering home an incessant dithyramb. 'We must work for peace'. 'War solves nothing'.

Reflect, dear readers - is this wondrous music of peace ever played to soothe the savage breast of the Monster in the North? Have these wonderful Peace Vendors with bleeding hearts ever ventured into the Vanni to coo the message of peace into the ear of those fearsome gun-toting characters that swarmed around 'Bala and Pira' at that extraordinary press-conference held in a leafy jungle recently? Why is this jaded peace-music played non-stop only to a Southern audience cloyed and nauseated by cheap repetitions?

We were impelled to put all this down on reading a full-page display in a leading Sunday Newspaper ( Sunday Times - April 14, 2002 ) by a notorious P-Vendor. (We use the letter because the word has been so used and abused that it sends most people crazy.) In this mighty broadside by an organization that calls itself 'The National Peace Council' we find a great thought modestly ensconced in an article entitled 'Human Rights Protections' (sic). 'More than two decades ago sections of the Tamil Community took arms in pursuit of their right to self-determination after facing oppression by the Sinhala Community'. To suggest that the Tamils were 'oppressed ' by the Sinhala people at that time is a diabolical travesty of the true state of affairs that the Nation Peace Council finds quite lucrative - one must demonize to loosen moneybags.

Here is another literary gem culled from a section entitled 'The Difference this Time'. 'The town of Chavakachcheri lies in ruins, its schools. temples, houses and commercial establishments brought down just two years ago by government leaders who felt compelled to destroy the town to preserve Sri Lankan rule over it'.

While the idiocy of this argument is understandable given that the writer is an aggrieved Eelamist who believes that the Sri Lankan State is an interloper in a region that he regards as distinct from the rest of the Island, it must not be overlooked that this kind of treacherous writing is sponsored by the National Peace Council ( an appendage of the National Christian Council ) and, presumably has its whole-hearted endorsement. The Jaffna Peninsula was wrested from the Terrorists by the lawful government of Sri Lanka. The Chavakachcheri region was recaptured by the terrorists in a terrifying blitz that brought them to the outskirts of Jaffna. In subsequent battles they were driven back and the town of Chavakachcheri suffered heavy damage.

Is it the opinion of the National Peace Council that this godforsaken town is rightfully owned by the LTTE and that the Sri Lankan State has overstepped its sovereignty in reclaiming by force a contested territorial domain? We do not want waffling, quibbling and a beating about the bush in response to this very explicit question.

It is abundantly clear that the National Peace Council has nothing 'national' about it. Nor can its mandate be defined by saying that it is working for peace - unless we redefine the word to encompass, among other things, an outrageously biased interpretation of events that makes a naked terrorist a valorous freedom-fighter. It cannot absolve itself of the responsibility for fair dealing by declaring that it merely provides a forum for the views of those at the receiving end of what is fancifully called 'State Violence'.

The Sinhala people have suffered massively as a result of the violence unleashed by that great enemy of the State - Pirapaharan. Has the National Peace Council ever heeded the calls of this aggrieved and offended section of our people? This last question is posed with great deliberation because we have noted with astonishment that the Government of Japan has lavishly funded the blatant anti-Sinhala, anti-Buddhist and anti-National activities of the National Peace Council.

Is this nominally Buddhist State i.e. Japan, unaware of the fact that Buddhism is under threat in Sri Lanka and that the concerted campaign to belittle and diminish the standing of Buddhism is spearheaded by Christian NGOs - among which the National Peace Council stands pre-eminent?

R. Chandrasoma


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