War and Peace in Sri Lanka: the other battle - part I
Part I: South Indian backyard
"We are helping Tamilnadu
to achieve self-rule"
Recently, there was an interesting exchange of views on the Indian-Tamil Nadu influence over Sri Lanka. First it was Dayan Jayatilleka's essay titled, "Will Sri Lanka be India's Iraq?" (Island, 11/20/2006). E. V. Naganathan replied to it stating, "Not India's Iraq, but South India's backyard" (www.tamilweek.com, 12/16/2006). Then, Bandu de Silva replied to Naganathan by an essay, "Return to avatar of evil," (Island, 1/3/2007). Naganathan implied sarcastically, in my view, that Sri Lanka has two neighbors: Tamil Nadu and Antarctica!
Villagers say that "the best of dancing comes during the early morning hours" (honda honda natum elivena jaametai). With the military defeating the Colombo peace mudalalis' "war is not winnable" theory in the jungles of Vakarai, now we see the best dances ever seen in Sri Lanka. The dance now is to stop the war and negotiate with the terrorists. The purpose of the dance is to create an "F" trap in the island. The intended or unintended consequence of it is the inevitable march toward an Eelam-Tamil Nadu Dravidasthan, sooner than later.
Who are the partners in this dance? Examples are American ambassador Robert Blake, British prime minister Tony Blair and IC, and the previous war is not winnable crowd of the 2005 December election time-UNP candidate and a large number of UNP ex-ministers, PA's CBK, Anura Priyadarshan B and Mangala Samaraweera (tawalama, sudu nelum and put the Sinhala Commission Report to the dust bin of history group). Why are they in this together? What is in it for them? As the American-living anthropology professor H. L. Seneviratne identified this was the Arthika crowd as opposed to the Jathika (Mahinda Chinthanaya) crowd (Island, 11/9/2005).
Some Colombo people benefited immensely by using the Prabakaran war as a beggar's wound. They want a Vadamarachchi II in 2007. They want to leave a little bit of cancer remain in the sick body of terrorism that grew behind the veil of the notorious 2002 CFA. Colombo black whites were always against the interests of the common man [woman]. This was so in 1885 when they opposed to make Vesak a public holiday, or in 1931 to grant universal suffrage or later in the 1940s to provide free education or the movement to dethrone English as the language of the rulers.
When Tony Blair offers his help via the CFA 2002, he must be asked to talk to his fellow countryman Paul Harris. Paul said that CFA 2002 was the "greatest give away in human history." Blair could also consult Anandasangaree or Douglas Devananda or Karuna all living victims of CFA. Before the American ambassador Robert Blake preach in Colombo to negotiate with Prabakaran, he should first obtain clearance from President Bush, because Bush did not want to negotiate with terrorists despite agitation by the democratic party and so many in the republican party to change it. Blair wants his nuclear power revamped despite 90 MPs of his own party opposing it so that he can negotiate with terrorists!
People in Sri Lanka venerate the white Buddhist Henry Olcott, an American, and Rhys Davids, an Englishman, for the services they rendered to protect the 2550 year-old Sri Lankan heritage. But in 2007, when the white man's burden comes in the shape of how to teach human rights to Sri Lanka, there is suspicion whether it has any connection to Pope John Paul's declaration during his visit to India to "Christianize Asia" or to the "clash of civilizations" thesis of the Harvard professor Huntington. Any attempt to impose an "F" merchandize on the people of Sri Lanka will not help the average Tamil but plant the germ to balkanize the tiny island of Sri Lanka and eventually the Indian subcontinent. Warring countries divided on the basis of language are fertile grounds to test Pope-Huntington concepts.
Win the war but lose the battle
With oxygen in the Prabakaran balloon rapidly dissipating Blake-Blair team is on a life-saving mission with Colombo NGO mudalalis in their pockets. GOSL army cannot fight this battle in Colombo where the APRC chairman minister Vitharana is now planning to introduce an "F" marriage in the backyard of Tamil Nadu separatists. Amazingly, between S. Paikiasoothy in an air-conditioned office in Colombo and Prabakaran in a bunker in the Wanni there may be about 2 % of Tamils who think now-a-days about "F" solutions. Karuna said, give us what Colombo people gets. Tamils and Muslims in Colombo are the richest. Karuna may perhaps not know this is the same demand of the Sinhala and Muslim masses living away from Colombo.
APRC in Colombo is not asking the right question-how to end Sri Lanka's present mess and misery. Instead it is in a hurry impose an "F" solution. Is it not possible to achieve aspirations without "F"? Do not ethnic groups live in harmony in the South? People in Sri Lanka want to end terrorism and follow a home-grown method to empower (devolution is a deceiving term) all the people all over the island. The gap between the rich and poor is widening rapidly since 1978 under globalization and free trade. The kolamabata kiri apita kakiri complaint has risen up to a crisis level. Even the prison boss is in fear of his life! Each Grama Sevaka Niladhari (GSN) unit has at least two full-time officers (GSN plus a Samurdhi niladhari type another) and there are over 14,009 of such units. Each AGA division has 100-150 government servants excluding teachers. There are 319 such divisions. What are they doing? Would "F" solve the antho-jata-Bahi-jatas? Tamils and Muslims are better off in Sri Lanka than in any other part of the world.
Federalism is a political marriage (Island, 1/11/2006; 2/11/2006;1/3/2007). It is a one-way path. Unlike CFA 2002, one cannot reverse the path or return to the original point. It is like scrambling an egg. Once done you cannot unscramble it. What "F" brokers are suggesting in Sri Lanka is not a marriage as happened with all the other 25 or so "F" states in the world. They are telling the parties already in matrimony to go to two separate houses because they quarrel in the bed room!
This brokerage could perhaps work if not for the fact that the party who wants to leave the bed room already has several paramours. Hence, little bit of federal flirting could soon reach the point of no return. This is what APRC members do not understand. It is not Karunanidhi or Jayalalitha. It is not just the world confederation of Tamils. It is 80 millions Tamils living next to a highly porous border with a psycho-historical attachment to the island of Lanka. Separatist Tamil politicians on both sides of the Palk Strait thrived upon such sentiments since 1917. A reincarnation of the Chola glory is within reach.
There is double jeopardy-one from Tamil Nadu, the other from Malaya Nadu. The Englishman Paul Harris as well as the retired geography professor G. H. Peiris has warned us about the Malayanadu threat which the late history professor Tennakoon Vimalananda predicted so accurately in the late 1960s-after India banned separatism in 1963 (Dravida Munethra Kasagam Movement and the future of the Sinhalayas, Anula Press, Colombo 10). The first step has already been taken with the CWC demanding five regional councils including a sub region for upcountry Tamils (Daily Mirror, 3/12/2007). The battle after winning the Prabakaran war will then be with the federal lobby raising its head again in 2007. Any attempt to impose an "F" formula will not help the average Tamil and will plant the germ to balkanize the tiny island of Sri Lanka and eventually the Indian subcontinent.
Ironically, new and future Prabakarans will thank APRC and its chairman
minister Vitharana for providing a ladder for a new Eelam despite
the monumental failure of first Prabakaran now nearing a Vadamarachchi
II. IPRC-sponsored "F" solution is the latest of a series
of anti-national theories or mud balls such as:
Colombo "F" lobby and the Buddhist approach
Derailing Buddhist actions in the past
In the 1930s and 1940s the late Ven. Kalukondayawe Pannasekera Thero started a village development and crime eradication movement with Justice Akbar, Tamils and a young police ASP Osmond de Silva (from a Colombo Seven family). White colonial officers and black white civil servants sabotaged that movement. Osmond de Silva was finally transferred to the Police Training Academy, the only place where he could not have direct contacts with villagers! (The Work of Kings, H. L. Seneviratne, 1999).
Thus when the late Ven. Balangoda Anandamaitreeya Maha Thero said that if Sir D.B. Jayatileke became the first prime minister of Ceylon (he was called "abiththaya" by the Marxists for his childhood associations with the Kelaniya temple) the fate of the island would have been very different from what had happened, he was in line with what the Malwatte Maha Nayake said above to minister Vitharana and also with what the late Ven. Kalukondayawe Pannasekera Thero and other monks tried to do in the 1930s and 1940s. The suriya mal selling, malaria volunteers of LSSP did not realize how they can become "national" by joining with the monks and become Ho Chi Mings of Ceylon. Instead it was like water and oil. It is water and oil even today despite holding posts to float the Mahinda Chinthanaya!
Gondwanaland and the majority-minority complex
The two separatist rivers, one in Tamil Nad and the other amongst the Colombo Tamil politicians, ran parallel mingling with each other from 1917 to 1963. When an amendment to the Indian constitution made it a criminal act to talk about separatism by politicians the poison water from Tamil Nad was transferred to Lanka. After 1978 (beginning of JRJ-IndiraG cow-calf family feud) it was the Lanka river that rejuvenated the Tamilnadu river. In the late 1950s the poison water in Tamilnadu was sprayed on the walls with a Dravida Kazagham proverb, "When you meet a Brahmin and a snake, kill the Brahmin first." For the Lankan river and the Tamilnadu masses the Tamil separatist master E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker twisted the Rama-Ravana story in the Hindu epic Maha Bharatha. Shivaji Ganeshan and MG Ramachandran (born in Kandy) popular even among the Sinhala movie goers then, acted as the folk hero-Tamil Ravana in low budget Tamil movies watched in Madras as well as in plantation areas in the Kandyan region. Naicker concluded, "Rama and Sita are despicable characters Ravana, on the other hand, is a Dravidian of excellent character." The "boys" in Sri Lanka (of Chelvanayagam, Amrithalingam and A. J. Wilson) with their Chola empire symbols are thus good Ravanas in the eyes of an average Tamilnadu Tamil.
In a losing battle with an active anti-Hindi language movement, Tamilnadu vote-dependent Delhi coalition governments are engaged in a desperate attempt to cutoff the mingling of the two rivers-separatists in Tamilnadu and Sri Lanka's north-by a suddenly activated Sethu Samuduram Canal Project along with the mega Kanya Kumari nuclear power plant. Gwynne Dyer (Island 2/15/2007) gave a list of world walls. For example, Pakistan is building a 1,500-mile fence along Afghanistan border. Since the Tamil terrorists made the sea border between India and Sri Lanka a high way the Delhi government may be planning to use the two federal projects as "India's Palestine Wall' in the south (Map 1).
Red arrows on the map show landward pressure sources on Tamil Nad
from its land neighbors and from the Hindi official language department
in Delhi. The Pondicherry model is another pain in the neck forced
upon it. Federal water projects come with the federal muscle. Then
there is the mega nuclear power plant controlled from Delhi. The canal
project will upset
Panchayathi Raj to the rescue - April 24, 1993
It is true that no one Indian state can face the Indian military
Goliath but the Delhi rulers know that a new political reality of
"coalition governments" has come to stay. The two major
Indian political parties depend on two dozen smaller regional parties
for their voting support to stay in power. The Tamil Nadu vote block
in Delhi is more powerful than the political power needed to use Direct
Presidential Rule. This meant that the Indian F model is a sick model
in three ways. (1) it could not stop further fragmentation based on
language or caste tribes, (2) Delhi could not control the growing
power of regional party blocks at Center politics and (3) Indian masses
are still in abject poverty, they cannot eat the "F-model."
In preparing this chronology up to 1963, I relied heavily on a book
chapter (chapter10: Religion, politics and the DMK by Robert L. Hardgrave)
in South Asia Politics and Religion, edited by Donald E. Smith (1966).
Hardgrave was an American academic researcher specializing in South
Indian affairs.E. V. Ramaswamy Naicker, born in 1879, married at the
age of 13, became a sannyasi 6 years later, started the Dravidian
Federation (DK) party in 1944, as a militant (DK members wear black
shirts), anti religious (philosophy of Hinduism is false and an opiate),
anti-Sanskrit (need to de-Sanskritize Tamil language, Ramayanaya is
false, destroy the images of sacred Hindu deities such as Rama and
Ganesha) movement. The selection of a poison flower and a cyanide
pill by Tamil separatists in Northern Sri Lanka is thus not hard to
1. August 1917 - South India Liberation Front founded (Justice Party)
(B) 1963-2006 (independent Tamil Nad demand modified to a Tamil national rights demand)
The unexpected War with China in 1962 gave Nehru an opportunity to ban Tamil separatism using protect the motherland national feelings. No room in India for any anti-Indian talks. The separatist movement had to be moved to Jaffna to the Ravanas of Naicker. It went back to India after 1978 (JRJ-IndiraG cow and calf feud) and got an open foothold after the 1983 riots in Colombo. Had a set back with the killing of Rajiv G in May 1991.
17. 1965- Anti-Hindi agitation by Tamil Nadu students
Politics of film stars
Tamil Nadu is no different from USA with film stars (Ronald Regan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, California governors) becoming politicians. In the Tamilnadu case it's more than past acting in films. The chief ministers themselves were the films with movie scenes such as love and sex, jailing of rival ex-chief ministers and asking the federal government to use Presidential Rule against the rival in power. Sons, daughters or mistresses become political heirs. Senior politicians crawl on the floor to worship and touch Jayalalitha's feet. Tamilnadu politics is so corrupt and centers on two personalities at present, Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi. Both are accused on running a party with iron control. At the state assembly elections these two parties come to power alternatively with landslides. So the previous chief minister ends up in the jail.
There are other third parties such as MDMK of Vaiko and the Tamil National Movement party of Nedumaran who openly support Prabakaran. Veerappan, who evaded arrest for political crimes for 20 years, was a hero to these politicians. Tamilnadu separatist movement is well and alive. The 1963 Indian law has lost its teeth. The annual program of the department of official language (Hindi) in the Indian Home ministry is considered as imposition of Hindi on Tamils in Tamilnad. Tamilnad is the only Indian state to oppose Hindi as a unifying language in this manner. There is a talk of a Hindian homeland in India as opposed to a Tamil homeland.
Tamilnad mindset of a Tamil Ravana from Lanka is not easy to erase. The anger fueled by separatists Tamil politicians against Delhi as exploitation of Tamils by Hindi rulers is conveniently directed at the Sinhala Buddhists "killers." Tamil websites propagate this idea on a daily basis. Sri Lanka has to seek its own solutions to create an island where Tamils, Sinhalas and Muslims all can achieve their aspirations. In this regard we are in short supply of data and factual histories. Sri Lankan university professors and the National Science Foundation in Sri Lanka (social science section) should undertake or promote research (grants for student masters theses?) on Tamilnadu-Sri Lankan affairs. They should study why a famous Malyalee Indian diplomat K. M. Panikkar once said Trincomalee is India's jewel. For example, the chronology above demonstrates that the Tamil separatist movement in Sri Lanka started long before 1956 and that the Tamilnadu and Jaffna separatist movements marched hand in hand.
(C) After the December 2005 Mahinda Chinthanaya victory
Because of the pending election in May 2006, Jayalalitha avoided a meeting with President Rajapakse in December 2005. She was afraid of the impact of Mahinda Chinthanaya on her election prospects. She lost it any way. Since 1991 she was demanding the Delhi government to take back the Kachchativu Island which she reiterated only a few days ago. The news items listed below indicate that Tamil Nadu is a base for Terrorist activities and Tamil Nadu politicians cannot and will not stop it. Prevention of terrorist supply links across the sea (Prabakaran lake?) is a Herculean challenge.
With a Tamil "F" Sri Lanka will be dragged into Tamil Nadu corrupt politics as if Sri Lanka does not have enough garbage in hand on its own. Just think of Jayalath Jayawrdena's statement against SLNavy? He wants GOSL surrender allowing Indian officers on SLNavy boats? Even the Delhi government did not ask it. Delhi is ready for joint surveillance operations suggested by GOSL sometime back.
How could anybody rule out the possibility of terrorists in SLNavy uniforms and killing fishermen to create a new conflict with India? What military or public relation benefit SLNavy could get by killing Indian fishermen unless there are spies or terrorist agents on the navy boat. On the other hand how does one distinguish a terrorist or a fisherman who transports bombs for terrorists from a bona fide fisherman? Why would an innocent fisherman enter a war zone and take a risk to his life when he can avoid that part of the sea? Why do they think all the fish in the ocean rush to the Prabakaran lake?
Think of the kind of questions we will have to answer when "F" status is given to terrorists? If "F" comes without removing weapons from the hands of all, including the underworld gangs in the south, then APRC would have achieved the ultimate mission of handing over the real tiger's tail to the people of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka will become a Lebanon, Palestine or a Haiti.
1/27/2007 - Arms smuggling from Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka (www.chennaionline.com)
© 1997-2004 www.lankaweb.Com
Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.