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LOOSING THE PSYCHOLOGICAL WAR

If I am Pirabakaran, I will dread Ranil more than Chandrika - from a psychological point of view. Thousands of Tamil in Jaffna lined the streets and cheerily waved at his motorcade. When he visited the Bishop of Jaffna - where he was accorded a red carpet welcome with the band in tow - Ranil was hailed by the Bishop as the savior of Tamils. Hundreds of Jaffna Tamil mobbed him when he came out of the Nallur Kandasamy Kovil. Accompanying and shadowing him on his Jaffna visit was none other than, Mr.Maheswaran- the UNP minister from Jaffna, who has been portraying himself as the new messiah of the Tamils.

In Colombo, Tamil music blares from the cafes and street corners. The checkpoints - where the humiliating searches and groping of the Tamils took place - are all gone. Tamil men walk the streets of Colombo proudly with their silk 'vertis', their forehead plastered with a thick band of holy ash. Tamil women fashionably flash their 22 karat gold jewelry at the weddings and music festivals. Hindu Temples in Colombo are packed with worshipers and their ringing bells can be heard for miles. With these new developments, many are starting to wonder about the accusations of oppression of the Tamils by the Sinhala nation.

Well, If I was Pirabakaran, I will have 'blues' in my stomach , for such a rousing reception to a Sinhala leader from the Tamils even before the Tamil have been given their due rights.

For any liberation struggle to sustain, grow and gather momentum, there has to be some form of oppression. If there is no oppression, then, there is nothing to liberate. What the Ranil government has shrewdly done is to give a pseudo sense of feeling among the Tamils that such oppression has been eliminated. It is foolish for any one to think that the Tamils have gained their rights when the government decides to send bicycles and kerosene oil to the Tamil areas. Only when the Sinhala people accept the fact that the Eelam Tamils are in deed a separate race with a distinct cultural identity with a right to their homeland, then, we can be happy and enjoy that the oppression has been eliminated. Until then, it is abominable to wave, garland and ring the temple bells.

Liberation struggle should be fought both militarily and psychologically. It has been proven that the Sinhala nation can never defeat the LTTE militarily. However, on the psychological front, I believe they have the upper hand at the present moment, and LTTE may be loosing the momentum to Ranil. This has to be stopped.

People have short memories. It is the human nature to forget all their past humiliating sufferings, when they are showered with some essential goods. For people, stomach is more important than the mind. And, the Eelam Tamils are no different to this. The Jaffna man is well known for falling over for a government job or for railways warrant. He will forget the past, and I do not blame him for that, because that is the human nature. This is what the Ranil's government has been doing- flooding the Tamil areas with essential goods, and in the process winning the psychological war.

I am not against the peace. I too want peace. However, kerosene oil and bicycles will bring peace to the Tamils; neither soaps nor batteries.

Chandrika could be compared to a barking dog . But barking dogs do not bite. The same thing cannot not be said of Ranil. . He seems to be much more shrewder than Chandrika. LTTE has to match him psychologically. The Tamil struggle took more than 30 years of armed struggle to mature , and is at the ripe stage to achieve its desired goals. It will be foolish to loose this momentum just because the check point and the barriers are gone, and the Tamil have this false sense of feeling that they have been in deed liberated. The LTTE has to do some thing fast to match or beat the psychological advantage that Ranil has at the moment.


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