Aim of the LTTE, the bulk of Tamils, Tamil Diaspora and their backers
Posted on June 15th, 2009

Herold Leelawardena

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ To date, there are over seventy million Tamils that live in India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. There are more than one million Tamil diaspora that live in the developed world as well. If you talk to any of them, you will feel that they are at a loss of something that Sinhalese have taken for granted. That is; Tamils are being disappointed for they have no country that they could call ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”homeland’. And the Tamil Diasporas that were born or bred in the western world are much more disappointed than other Tamils for they live in a dream world. So, no matter what they just want a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”homeland’.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Tamils that live the world over thought; Piriphaharan would deliver them their ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”homeland’ in the north and east of Sri Lanka. In spite Piriphaharan being the killer of Tamil leaders and a mass murderer, many Tamils got sick at heart when he was cornered at the end of Eelam war. And, they turned in to frenzy as Piriphaharan had neared his end. God knows how or why, But President Obama also talked about LTTE leaders surrendering to a third party. Could you imagine the serenity that we have today would be like if only those evil men were alive. It is in this light that we have to understand the aim of the LTTE, the bulk of Tamils, Tamil Diaspora and their backers.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Tamil leaders world over tell us that Tamils in Sri Lanka have a problem, but none explains what it is. Piriphaharan wanted nothing but Eelam to solve the problems of Tamils. Now that Piriphaharan is dead his buddies that are alive says; they want devolution for north and east to solve the problem of Tamils. Now that six thousand soldiers are dead and twenty two thousand maimed to kill Piriphaharan and his Eelam, Minister Witharana says; Provincial Councils meaning north and east must be granted the 13th amendment in full to solve the problems of Tamils.

Some NGO and INGO backers try to bully us; if we do not offer Tamils beyond the 13th amendment or ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”federal’ there will be hundreds of Piriphaharans in the future. But none tell us how such solutions would benefit the majority of Tamils that live outside the North and East.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ As far as we could see Tamil aspiration is nothing but Eelam. We only have to dig in to Indian history to prove it.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Tamils had been demanding ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”self-rule’ since long before India got independence.

And this ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”self-rule’ is a euphemism for a separate country. First Tamils had instigated the Dravidians to join them to demand ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”self rule’ for Dravidians in Madras state. Actually, Dravidians are a group of races and Tamils are only one of them. What matters s; Madras state had been given federal powers at the time of Indian independence. Dravidians were given land as well as police powers. The non-Tamil Dravidians were satisfied. Were the Tamils satisfied? No. Tamils voted vehemently for a separatist party, the DMK that stood for 1962 election on separation ticket. Thereafter, Indian government had split the Madras state, and ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Tamil Nadu’ was demarcated for Tamils on racial basis. Were the Tamils satisfied? No.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ India grasped the Tamils’ game plan and responded in a very clear manner. Nehru had put a stop to Tamil separation demand for good. He did so not with carrot but with a big stick. That action which I call ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Nehru’s prescription’ is elucidated at the latter part of this essay.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ There is a rationale for this mindset of Tamils. Tamils have a drummed up history. In fact, they were a divided race for a long time, since their written history. Unlike Sinhalese, Tamils never had a powerful king to unite them as a racial unit for a long period of time. So much so, the Pandyan King, Parakkirama Pandyan had sought the help of Sinhala king, Parakramabahu so as to hang on to his capital city of Madurai between 1163 and 1179 A.D. For more than thousand years Tamils had three Tamil kingdoms; Chera Nadu, Chola Nadu and Pandya Nadu. Indeed, had they been a united race, Tamils should have only one kingdom and not three. After 1311 A.D. even those three kingdoms ceased to exist. And, Tamils never have succeeded in having a Tamil kingdom anywhere, since. This is the crux of the matter for the modern day Tamils!

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ To cover-up this inadequacy, Many Tamils talk about a lot of myth and legend. They say; Tamils had being a sea faring race throughout history. Whether a sea faring race or not, it is true that Tamils have been living in few countries in Asia. We all know how Tamils got to Malaysia and central hills of Sri Lanka. Also, Tamils are known to have reached Andaman and few other Islands as fisher folks. If they were sea faring race they should have reached Maldives. But, we could assume Tamils have not been there, because Maldivians are not of Tamil lineage. And the vernacular language of Maldives has a clear linkage to Sinhalese not Tamil. Therefore this sea faring claim of Tamils has its weaknesses.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Some other Tamils say; they had their kingdoms in the north of Sri Lanka for more than five thousand years. On the 7th May, in an interview with ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Rivira’, a weekend Sinhala paper, MP for Madakalapuwa (Batticalo), MR. Ariyanandran said; north had been amalgamated to East of Sri Lanka for more than one thousand eight hundred years. Other than hearsay stories by LTTE and its backers, no reputed scholar had presented any historical proof for such a claim, to date. Those that day dream for an Eelam continue to plant such fallacy in to the psyche of poor Tamils.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Eminent Tamil scholar, Ananda Koomaraswami says not just the north and east but the whole of Sri Lanka was amalgamated for two thousand five hundred years.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Leave out that five thousand or one thousand eight hundred year old Tamil kingdoms; if only Tamils have been living in Sri Lanka for just one thousand years, then Tamils of Sri Lanka should have evolved to be a new nation with a new identity, just like any island nation. People that landed in Maldives islands developed a unique language and culture to become Moldavians in less than thousand years. Wijaya and company that settled in Sri Lanka two thousand five hundred years ago had mixed with the local tribes and evolved to be Sinhalese.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The question is; after five thousand years or one thousand eight hundred years, why the language and culture of Tamils of Sri Lanka are akin to that of the Tamils of India? Why haven’t they developed their own culture like the Sinhalese or Moldavians? The answer is clear from many written chronicles such as Mahawamsa: Only for brief periods; there had been Tamil Kingdoms in Sri Lanka.

And, when the invaders were beaten, either they had gone back or had been assimilated to the Sinhala society.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ A cynic may say; the reason for both Tamils of Sri Lanka and Tamils of India to have same language and culture is Tamils in the north and east of Sri Lanka had a close affiliation to Tamils of India. If that is the case, Indian and Sri Lankan Tamil combine would have overwhelmed the Sinhalese who are much smaller in number. And, the Tamils would have assimilated Sinhalese in to their culture long ago. And if so, no Sinhalese would be found this time around.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ In May, 1976, Tamil United Front or TUF of the Sri Lankan Tamils put the cat out of the bag; just the same way as the DMK of Indian Tamils did fourteen years earlier in 1962. The TUF held a Convention in Vaddukkoddai, changed its name to Tamil United Liberation Front or TULF and passed a resolution to demand Eelam.

The present TULF leader, Mr. Ananda Sangaree who now verbalizes a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”one’ Sri Lanka plan should have raised his right hand high at that convention. We do not know whether Mr. Sangaree had changed his standing after LTTE had killed many TULF leaders or he had been threatened. Whatever it is, his current standing must be applauded.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Anyway, in 1977, the TULF had contested the elections on the separatist platform and won 18 of 19 Tamil seats in the North and Eastern provinces. What is important is that the TULF claimed it had a mandate for Tamil Eelam. It was a clear threat to unity of the country. Yet, all powerful but apathetic JRJ and the UNP regime had underestimated the Eelam syndrome and its potential threat to the country. Instead of making plans to rout the Eelam syndrome, JRJ had spent his time and energy to tear down SLFP and its leadership. Could there be a folly worst than that in Sri Lanka politics?

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Had JRJ followed Nehru’s prescription to Indian constitution, mum would have been the word for ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Eelam’. Had JRJ followed Nehru’s prescription to Indian constitution, Amirthalingam would have been forced to choose between ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”leader of the opposition’ position and Eelam concept. Had JRJ followed Nehru’s prescription to Indian constitution, the TULF would have been forced to choose between membership of parliament and Eelam concept. Are we to believe JRJ knew not Nehru’s dilemma and his prescription?

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ If mum had been word for ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Eelam’, TULF would not have supported LTTE. Amirthalingam would not have been able to promote Eelam concept around the world. And Amirthalingam and many other TULF leaders may not have been killed by LTTE. And the pogrom of July 1983 would never have taken place. And the separatist TNA MPs or LTTE stooges may not have a chance to be elected to Parliament. And, LTTE would not have grown to become the mammoth terrorist organization that it came to be.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ And now the incidents that led to that Nehru’s prescription: When similar situation to that of TULF passing a resolution to demand Eelam arose in India in 1962, Nehru did exactly the opposite of what JRJ did. The DMK had 15 seats in the then Madras state legislature in 1957. DMK contested the next election in 1962 on the platform, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Tamil Nadu for Tamils’. Actually, it is a euphemism, or ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”a demand for separation’ in different words. With the demand for separation, the DMK had increased its share of seats from 15 to 50. Thrilled with the electoral success, 200,000 DMK supporters said to have marched through the streets of Chennai on September 22, 1962 to a DMK rally to demand a separate country for Tamils.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Now that Nehru’s prescription: Prime Minister of India, Nehru did the need of the hour to protect India from disintegration. In contrast to JRJ, Nehru gave the separatists a stick not carrot. He had passed an amendment to the Indian constitution to ban individuals and political parties that promote separation from contesting elections. DMK had to choose between losing their parliamentary seats and dropping the demand for separation. The Central Committee of the DMK met at Royapuram on November 3, 1963, and unanimously voted to drop its demand for independent Dravida Nadu.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Beware! Aim of the LTTE, the bulk of Tamils, Tamil Diaspora and their backers is Eelam. LTTE may be dead but the others are very much alive. Those who are alive have different game plans. But, Eelam is their end game. Therefore, power should not be devolved one bit beyond what it is now.


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