An open letter to M. A. Sumanthiram, TNA, MP-Is the Tamil leadership preparing for another war ?
Posted on August 25th, 2012

H. L. D. Mahindapala Melbourne, Australia.

Dear Mr. Sumanthiram,

Without much ado let me get to the nub of the politicalƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ formulas you are prescribing right now for the Jaffna Tamil people who are still struggling to recover from the misery caused by the Tamil leadership that passed the Vadukoddai Resolution of 1976 and dragged them all the way to Nandikadal in May 2009. The tone in the speeches of your leader R. Sampanthan and that of yours is menacing. The thrust of your speeches is aggressive. Your speech in Parliament on August 10, 2012 and that of Sampanthan in Batticoloa reveal that you both have either gone into a state of denial or forgotten overnight the horrors that came out of the politics of Vadukoddai violence.

Political analysts and Tamil leaders agree that the rise of Velupillai Prabhakaran — he was born out of the Vadukoddai Resolution — led to “Tamils killing more Tamils than any others”. Is this what you want once again? Your latest decision to return to Vadukoddai Resolution doesn’t add to your public posture of wanting peace and reconciliation. On the contrary, it makes you look like the avatars of PrabhakaranƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ rising from the cold waters of Nandikadal.

Ever since May 18, 2009 when all your hopes sank in the bloody waters of Nandikadal both of you have been flogging the dead horse of Eelam. When the Tamil leadership went for Eelam the first time you had all the man power, firepower, the militancy, the finances ($300m annually, according to Janes Weekly), the backing of international community led by Erik Solheim, and charismatic leaders (Prabhakaran and Balasingham) and yet you lost. Without these resources and without any guarantee of winning Eelam now you have gone back to Vadukoddai Resolution.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Have you no compassion for your people who are going to be the victims of your mindless politics?

This means that you and other Vadukoddians are very brave in sacrificing the children of other Tamils while you and your children get the security you need from the “Sinhala state” including the perks and privileges granted by “the Sinhala state” toƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ your mob in Parliament. Jaffna TamilsƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ leadershipƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ throughoutƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ theirƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ history haveƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ thrived in the comforts of Colombo (like you, for example) while shedding crocodile tears for the victims of Vellahla/Vadukoddai violence. Your leaders took the biggest gamble when they passed the Vadukoddai Resolution declaring war on the rest of the nation. They never expected to lose. Nor did Prabhakaran, as you know only too well. What guarantee is there that you can win when you take to violenceƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ in Vadukoddai War II? Besides,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ remember, when the old leadership called “the youth to take up arms” in the Vadukoddai Resolution they first turned the guns on the leadership that armed them. How safe are youƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ and Sampanthan going to be when the next round of violence breaks out in Vadukoddai War II?

Your joint action indicate that you are pursuing a course of action tailored precisely to use your people in Jaffna the way your predecessors have used them for their political survival. Like your colleagues of the failed generation of separatist leaders you are playing the same old tunes of a deceptive Pied Piper to diddle the youth with promises of an Eelam which you know you can’t get even if the entire TNA jumps into Nandikadal. You both are now engaged in the business of dragging the next generation of Tamil youth to the last supper that the “Surya Devan” you worshipped gave to the brain-washed youth just before they took off to assassinate Rajiv Gandhi, or President Premadasa, or Neelan Tiruchelvam. You both are beating the drums of Eelam knowing that the blood, the corpses and the graves that are inevitable in its wake will be on your heads.

Anyone reading your leader’s speech in Batticoloa will realise that the Tamil leadership has not learnt anything from history nor are they willing to learn from history. Your leader’s speech is replete with veiled threats to wreak havoc if your demands are not met within the time you stipulate. Starting with local and foreign threats is not the best or the brightest way to begin meaningful negotiations, is it Mr. Sumanthiram? Obviously you have no intentions of negotiating because negotiating means compromising and you have no intention of compromising, do you Mr.Sumanthiram? You are following the identical intransigent politics of your late leader, Prabhakaran, and where did it take him?

You also act as if you both are still tied to Prabhakaran’s tight leash, making you bark according to his commands. It is pathetic to see two lawyers acting as lap dogs of the most vile Tamil tyrant who violated every decent law under the sun to brutalize the Tamil people — particularly the children — and keep them under his jackboots so that he could cool off and play with his family in the Vanni swimming pool while he dragged forcibly the children of other Tamil parents to a frontline that collapsed almost overnight. Now that you’ve decided to play Prabhakaran’s beastly politics how well do you and your bushy-browed leader manage to sleep these days? Or do you take panadol before you go to bed?

The main thrust of Sampanthan’s speech proclaims that going back to the failed past is the answer to the future. His speech is nothing but a regurgitation of the Vadukoddai Resolution. However, both of you are cocky because you assume that you have the backing of the international community to get what you want. The only new comment in his speech refers to the victory you claim at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva. This is what he said: “We gather here following our victory in the passage of the recent Resolution at the UN Human Rights Council, a condemnation against the Sri Lankan government by the international community, which has recognized that the Sri Lankan government has committed the crime of extermination against our people, and that it continues to deny them their political rightsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ Based on this you both crow that you have won the international community to your side. No wonder Prof. Kumar David labelled the Tamil leadership as “stupid”. You have assumed that one swallow in Geneva has made an Indian summer for you in Jaffna.

Forget for the moment UNHRC which is only a side-show to the main UN body in New York. The highest decision-making body that counts in international affairs is the UN Security Council (UNSC). Do you know that it is becauseƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ the Western lobbyƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ failed toƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ get a resolution passed at the UNSC that they went to the UNHRC? Again as things stand do you know that your agents can push as much as they want but they cannot get the UNSC to pass anything against Sri Lanka?

Besides, do you know how many resolutions have been passed by the UNSC with nothing positive coming out of them? For instance, the UNSC has been passing resolutions against Israel and India from day one of the UN and not all the fine words in those resolutions have changed one iota of the Palestinian and Kashmir issues. So where do you stand in relation to one resolution — watered down one at that — by the UNHRC? Can’t you remember how your late leader, Prabhakaran, who was sinking in Nandikadal, was still hanging on the phone with “KP” believing, like Sampanthan, that the international community will come to rescue him? Did not the Tamil diaspora, believing in their imagined might to move big powers, made Prabhakaran believe that the international community was with him and that they would save him? Aren’t you going down that same track, relying on the uncertain vagaries of the international community which acts according to their international agenda and their internal interests and not on your politicalƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ dreams?

Like India the international community is not interested in the Tamil community per se. Nor does any serious analyst believe that they are in it because of their claim to be champions of human rights. They are interested in you because they see an opportunity to make use of you for their agenda in the Indian Ocean overshadowed by the rising might of China. Once that is resolved you will be thrown away like a used condom. Ultimately, whatever outcome that is in store will have to come out from GOSL. And, in any case, there are limits to which the international community can push GOSL.

So you have to go through an agonising reappraisal and recalculate your decision to go back to the Vadukoddai Resolution. The Tamil diaspora jumping up and down for Eelam like a yo-yo in Western capitalsƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ has not worked for you, has it?ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Remember they even committed suicide the last time. What happened?ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ As for Vadukoddai Resolution, itƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ is the last thing that can produce results particularly in the post-Prabhakaran period when all that was written in the Vadukoddai Resolution sank in Nandikadal Lagoon. True, the Tamil desperadoes are hoping for Prabhakaran to do a Lazarus. But his Second Coming are as promising that of Ranil Wickremesinghe becoming the next president.

The fundamental failure of the northern politics is their failure to adjust to the ground realities. They are stuck intransigently in the pipe dreams ofƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Vadukoddai Resolution.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Experience should have taught that it is no longer a dream. It has reached insufferable proportions of a nightmare. Not even Ranil Wickremesinghe, your only hope, can get what you want. But, even if Wickremesinghe comes back to power he won’t last a week if he gives into the concessions you demand. If his powerful Uncle “JRJ” couldn’t sell the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement how can Wickremesinghe sell hisƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ CFA deals to you? Not after NandikadalƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ was clinched by the Sri Lankan forces. So you will be back to square one.

Your decision to go back to Vadukoddai is tragic — tragic mostly for the Jaffna Tamils because they will be dragged once again into a war that no one wants. Jaffna, unfortunately, has never been blessed with a leadership that gave them peace. From Sangkili to Prabhakaran they were faced with perennial persecutions, tortures, massacres and subhuman slavery. The Jaffna Tamilian never had dignity, or even the basic right to walk in God-given sunlight under theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ fascistƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Tamil leaderships. Forget for a moment the other oppressed Jaffna Tamils down the ages. Tell us what dignity did you and Sampanthan have under Prabhakaran?

Besides, the Sri Lankan Security Forces will not be caught off guard this time. They are already in place and, what is more, Jaffna will not find another Prabhakaran to fight the next war.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ It is not the international resolutions that willƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ bring Eelam to you. Nor will India or any otherƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ big powerƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ land theirƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ forcesƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ to fight your war. They can come like the IPKF. But how are they going to get out? In other words, you will haveƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ to do a do-or-die battle.

Where will all this leave the Jaffna Tamils? Your decision to go down the path of Prabhakaran once again is suicidal for the Tamils. Vadukoddai War I reduced your population by half. Vadukoddai War II will get rid of the remaining half.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Problem solved! So who is going to benefit in the end? Aren’t you playing into the hands of the Sinhalese once again, Mr. Sumathiram?

If by any chance you get your Vadukoddai War IIƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ I hope you will get another chance to watch your people suffer theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ way you did in Vadukoddai War I while enjoying security and all the perksƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ showered on youƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ by “the Sinhala state”ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ you love to hate.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Yours sincerely

H. L. D. Mahindapala

Melbourne, Australia.

7 Responses to “An open letter to M. A. Sumanthiram, TNA, MP-Is the Tamil leadership preparing for another war ?”

  1. Lorenzo Says:


    “Where will all this leave the Jaffna Tamils? Your decision to go down the path of Prabhakaran once again is suicidal for the Tamils. Vadukoddai War I reduced your population by half. Vadukoddai War II will get rid of the remaining half. ”


    We are TOO HAPPY to give them NANTHIKADAL II/III/IV, etc.

  2. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    HEY HLDM !!! Excellent bit of Advice to the two LAP DOGS, the Proxy of the Megalomaniac “OUR SOUL “.

    The crux of your advice is judiciously embedded in the last three paragraphs. You bet, THE SRI LANKAN FORCES WILL NOT BE CAUGHT OFF GUARD THIS TIME.

    VW II will see another generation of Tamil Youth getting their asses whipped at Nandikadal, and SAMSUM will be totally responsible for the Catastrophe, brought to the Tamils, by the Tamils.


  3. Lorenzo Says:

    Mad cow Jayalalitha (ஜெயலலிதா விலைமகள்) writes to Manmoron Singh.

    “Such a reprehensible attitude on the part of the Government of India is even now reflected in permitting two defence personnel of the Sri Lanka namely (1) Major Dissanayaka Mohottalalage Vengra, of the Sri Lankan Army and (2) Captain Hewawasam Kandaudage, of the Sri Lankan Navy to undergo 11 months training at Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, from 19.5.2012 onwards. It is very clear that this fact of ongoing training since May, 2012, has been mischievously concealed from my Government, showing scant regard for the views of my Government as well as for the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu.

    I, therefore, request you to give suitable instructions to the Ministry of Defence to immediately halt the training being given to the Sri Lankan defence personnel at the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, and arrange to send them back to Sri Lanka immediately.””

    If India stops training, we go to Pakistan and China.

    முட்டாள் விலைமகள் !

  4. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    ” has been mischievously concealed from my Government”…. So which Government authorised this training ?

    It took twelve hours for the Indian Police and Army to get to a Terrorist Hold up at the Hotel.
    The IPKF left Sri Lankan Shores with their tail between their legs, leaving 1200 dead IPKF bodies.

  5. Sarath W Says:

    This is another area the government has failed by not educating the Tamil population in the north and the east by exposing the dangerous path taken by their own leaders like R. Sampanthan. It is time these long suffering people are told Sri Lanka will never be divided into different states and political parties based on racist motives have no place in Sri Lanka. The best way forward for the Tamils are to join the main stream political parties and represent themselves as Sri Lankans.

    The government must be proactive and show the Tamils that Prabhakaran and such leaders like Sampanthan are their real enemies, not the Sinhala population.Prabhakaran sacrificed so many young Tamil lives, mostly taken forceably, gave them the cyanide to swollow to avoid capture.But when he was cornered he wanted to surrender? He killed more Tamils who were opposed to him and sent many more to be killed.

  6. Marco Says:

    Is this article by HLDM falling on deaf ears? What chance MAS is likely to read it?
    I’m rather intrigued that most HLDM articles posted on this website usually appears in the Sunday Lakbima Columns first,but not this one!

  7. Marco Says:

    Speech in Parliament by M.A. Sumanthiran on 10th August 2012

    Thank you sir,

    I am glad to speak on this motion moved by the Hon. Member for Colombo and I am further glad to speak at the time when you are in the Chair, and quite unusually, after a speech in which you have said some things on which we can agree on.

    The Hon. Member while moving the motion referred to the first Prime Minister Hon. D.S. Senanayake twice in his speech and sir, you also referred to the first Prime Minister. But I would like to remind this House that although it is true that at the time Independence was obtained all communities in this country jointly asked for Independence, got it and celebrated together, very soon the trust that the minorities reposed in the majority community of this country was broken, and that was broken by the D.S. Senanayake Government.

    One of the first few pieces of legislation that was passed disenfranchised over eight hundred thousand Tamils of recent Indian origin, and it took another forty years before they could regain the fundamental right, the basic right of belonging to this country, that of their franchise. That was a great betrayal. That was a betrayal using the larger numbers that obtained to the majority community. That was the issue that brought my party into existence. The Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi was born as a result of the disenfranchisement of Tamils of recent Indian origin. Then it was realized that our euphoria of independence was very short lived; that we could not continue to repose our faith in a simple majoritarian system of government because there will always be a permanent majority, and there will be permanent minorities, and on issues that affect the demography, the permanent majority will always prevail.

    This was repeated in 1956 when the Sinhala language was made the official language of this country. Hon. Dr. Colvin R. De Silva speaking in this House at that time said ‘You have two languages, you will have one country; but if you have one language, you will have two countries’. What prophetic words. Yet he himself was the architect of the 1972 Constitution in which Sinhala was made the only Official language constitutionally. There was a safeguard built into the Ceylon Independence Act of 1947 in Section 29(4). It was a most ineffective clause. At the time if anybody wanted to know examples of legislation it would prevent, the Indo-Pakistani Citizenship Act and the Official Languages Act could have been given as examples of legislation that was prohibited under Section 29(4). Yet it was passed. Although it was ineffective it was there in writing. A principle was enshrined through that clause. It was entrenched. It was a clause that could not be changed. That is why, under the guise of an autochthonous Constitution in 1972 – between 1970 and 1972 sitting outside the Parliament – the First Republican Constitution was enacted in which the views or the participation of the Tamil People of this Country was totally rejected. We know the consequences of that.

    No one opposes a strong national identity, but there are two basic elements that go into building a strong national identity. The first is that all must be treated equally irrespective of which community they belong to. That is emphasised, sometimes over emphasised. Because the second cardinal principle is equal to the first one, and that is that you can’t build one strong identity by suppressing the different individual identities.

    It is only by recognizing those separate identities, it is only by granting to the separate identities of the separate Peoples in this country the due recognition and the honour, the dignity that is due to those Peoples, that you can build one strong identity. That is something that we keep forgetting, and we don’t seem to be conscious of even today.

    References were made to our great neighbour India. How has India preserved the identity of India? Right from its inception, from its birth, they carved out the linguistic states of India. It is the concept of the linguistic states that has prevented India disintegrating. Because people of different languages, different cultures, can have a sense of identity. They can express themselves in their own language, in their own culture. They are not asked to assimilate, they are not asked to deny what belongs to them, they are not asked to deny who they are and become part of another community in the name of a strong national identity.

    This is where we have gone wrong and we continue to go wrong. After more than sixty years, we don’t seem to have got this right. When you spoke sir, you spoke about the Constitution and violation of the Constitution. There are several provisions in our Constitution that are not implemented, even by this Government of which you are a part. There is the 13th Amendment. Like section 29(4) of the Soulbury Constitution, however ineffective it is, still it is there in print. There is a system of power sharing. It is that very amendment, the 13th Amendment, that is not implemented. Those who speak about violation of other provisions of the Constitution turn a blind eye to the blatant violation by successive governments in not implementing provisions of the Constitution. For twenty five years now, that has remained a dead letter. Does the Government have a moral right even to raise the issue of supposed violations of the Constitution when there isn’t even one, whilst they themselves openly and blatantly violate provisions of the Constitution by not implementing them, and by not implementing the most crucial provisions of power sharing between communities that can build a sense of belonging to those communities to the country and thereby build a strong national identity?

    So building a strong national identity has to happen voluntarily. Peoples who are numerically inferior in the country must themselves feel that they are a part of this country and come forward to building that one strong national identity. It can’t be forced down their throat. It never can be forced down their throat. If the majority people think that by force, by law, by compelling, by denying the other identities, one can build a strong national identity, they are sadly mistaken. That will never happen. It is only by recognizing, it is only by granting, it is only by honouring the dignity of all the different peoples of this country such a process can take place and as a representative of the Tamil peoples of this country let me assure this House that we are willing to participate in that process of building one national identity, but we will do that when we are recognized as a People and all that is due to a People is granted, and afforded. When we can have a measure of self governance that is due to a People, we will also stand equally with the majority community and strive towards one national identity.

    Thank you very much.

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