Prabhakaran’s ghost & a phoney war?
Posted on October 7th, 2013

Susantha Goonatilake

It was not the much touted diaspora, but local Northern Tamils that voted massively for the TNA. The parallel was not tomachinations of a diasporabut moreto the beginning of a possible-Phoney War-.‚  The-PhoneyWar-was the early period in World War IIwhen both sides had prepared for war but was not actuallyfighting. It seems that the overwhelming PC win of the TNA which was not hiding much of its LTTE stripes could be the precursor to a future actual war. It could be like Germans after losing World War 1under an emperor was about to wage World War II under an elected Hitler.May be this is what the Indian Express Tribuneheadline meant after the PC elections with its: -The war in Sri Lanka is not over-. But comparisons are sometimes misleading -” in our case, how true, how misleading?

I had pointed out for nearly 15 years the obvious parallels between Prabhakaran and Hitler. There was the sole -leader- (Fƒ¼hrer) demanding unquestioning obedience, the Hitler salute of outraised arm, the extensive brainwashing of the total population and an invented traditional homeland parallel to the Lebensraum of the Nazis. But it was not the LTTE that was contesting the PC elections but the TNA who had for years declared the LTTE was the sole representative of the Tamils. Now that the LTTE leadership was no more, what was the TNA leadership now saying? But first: reading the election results.

In areas not brainwashed by theLTTE, the Provincial Councils saw national parties fighting it out. In the North-Western Province and Central Province,the UPFA won handsomely with hardly any significant change in its popularity. As for the UNP, its percentage dropped in the NWP from nearly 29% in 2009 to 24% now, its number of seats dropping from 14 to 12 in the same period. In the Central Province,the story repeated with the UNP tally of 22 in 2009 now becoming just 16. The JVP which only around 10 years ago was a kingmaker and could even have been kings was now down to one seat in the NWP and no seats in the CP. Fonseka-â„¢s party which was earlier sponsored by the JVP fared somewhat better getting 5 seats in the 2 PCs. As for the National Freedom Front (NFF) and the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), they were virtually lost politically not getting a single seat.

In the NP, national parties confronting the remnants of Nazi/Prabahakaran ideology fared badly. The UNP which had handed over the Province to the LTTE under the LTTE-engineered Ceasefire Agreement did not even get a single seat. The UPFA fared somewhat better gettingsomewhatover 18% of the vote.

The victory of the once LTTE proxy TNA was thus done through Tamil attitudes themselves. But what of the muchpublicizeddiaspora? The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) interpreted the TNA-â„¢s overwhelming victory as Tamils wanting -political freedom- and -self-government-.Former LTTE arms procurer KumaranPathmanathan, -ËœKP-â„¢, spoke of the TNA manifesto going beyond the Vaddukoddai resolution of 1976.The LTTE mouth piece TamilNet had been critical of Wigneswaran implying that he was a pawn of the US and India.However,TamilNet reported TNA-â„¢s Sampanthan and Sumanthiranalso saying that the TNA victory superseded the Vaddukkoaddai resolution that originally called for separation.The signs were not good.

Clearly, the government development policies which gave the Northern Province the highest growth rate in the country reaching nearly 26% ofnominal GDP had not reached the people-â„¢s minds. An obvious parallel would be the -German miracle- which recovered economically after World War II partly due to Marshall Aid from the Western Allies that defeated them. In our case, it was the government that defeated the LTTE that had pumped huge resources into the Northern Province.

To see what -went wrong- for non-racist national parties, we must recall.

The TNA leader Wigneswaran in an interview with an Indian newspaper had compared Prabhakaran as equivalent to the national hero KeppetipolaDisawe. To Wigneswaran, -Prabhakaran was a freedom fighter-. The TNA tiger stripes were clearly showing. But his racist and separatist views had been pointed out by another prominent lawyer S. L. Gunasekara when Wigneswaranhad articulated racist views as a judge of our Supreme Court as far back as 2001at a sitting of that court. Gunasekara writing more recently has labeledWigneswaranas an -out and out racist-. Wigneswaran had also declared that Chelvanayagam was his other hero (presumably before Prabahakaran). And Wigneswaran-â„¢sTNA manifesto spoke of the -the right to self-determination- which was the LTTE code for separatism. This expression itself has been definedinternationally as only freedom fromWestern imperialism. And in 2000, the UN Millennium Declaration reaffirmed this correct meaning byemphasizingthat the right to self-determination was only for -peoples which remain under [Western] colonial domination and foreign occupation.”

Why,in spite of massive development efforts did separatist sentiments get voted in? To answer this we have to go to the aftermath of World War II and what the West did to remove the Nazi mental set with which racist ideology the Nazis had brainwashed the entire German population, like how Prabhakaran did.

The winning Allies imposed a period of denazificationbefore sponsoring development (a similar process also occurred in Japan). A report at the time said that only an “inflexible long-term” programme would lead to removing the vestiges of Nazi philosophy. This denazification covered the whole gamut of German society which had been tainted by the Nazi virus. Its aim was to remove any Nazi elements and ideology from society, press, economy, judiciary, culture and politics. Those who opposed the Nazis were brought in to identify those elements that collaborated with the Nazis. All those who had positions of influence in spreading Nazi propaganda were removed.

There was a special “Law for Liberation from National Socialism and Militarism” enacted for the purpose. As a result nearly 30,000 books were banned for carrying Nazi propaganda and were confiscated and destroyed. Possession of these books was considered a punishable crime. All symbols of the Nazis were banned. Former active Nazis were forbidden from participating in public life and were sacked. Even now, over a half century later, those who supported the Nazis find difficulty in getting certain jobs.

After World War II therefore, there was unanimous recognition that a military defeat alone would not be sufficient to get rid of the falsehoods and racist ideology which fed the Nazis. But in Sri Lanka, none of that has happened.

Tamil separatism depends on the exclusive homelands idea drilled into them for over 40 years. The only document that the Tamil separatists produce supporting the traditional homelands idea is literally two sentences by a British visitor Cleghorn who was in Sri Lanka for a few months. Cleghornhad stated in 1879 that two nations, Tamil and Sinhala had lived in Sri Lanka in the present boundaries from ancient times.‚  His third sentence after these two stated that the Sinhalese arrived in the country from Siam indicating his level of knowledge. This virus of a separate Homeland has not been challenged within the minds of Tamils.

Thus, the Jaffna University has a huge sign board in its premises with words to the effect that those who enter it must subscribe to the traditional homelands concept. And to brainwash believers inthis Goebbels-like fiction, Jaffna academics had been going to great lengths as any one monitoring the LTTE voice TamilNet can easily see. For example, they invented a fictitious “Tamil Buddhist- label to explain Buddhist artefacts found in Jaffna which were identical to those found elsewhere in Sri Lanka. During the LTTE period, they had also surreptitiously changed the labels of the Jaffna Museum. And after peace emerged, they vehemently opposed any objective archaeology as that would remove the bedrock of separatist claims that there were traditional Tamil homelands separate from the rest of the country. In the forefront of these objections to real archaeology that would blow up the traditional homelands conceptwere Jaffna academics.

Dr. S.K. Sitrampalam, once amember of the UGC,and now, the retired Senior Professor of Archaeology of the University of Jaffna led the charge. In statement after statement especially in the TamilNetJaffna academics objected to real archaeology-not only by the Sri Lanka Archaeology Department but also by Western institutions. They feared this would reveal that the history of much of Jaffna province history was no different from that of the rest of the country -” exploding exclusive homelands myths. A few months ago,Pushparatnam,another of these pro-LTTE ideology infused Jaffna academics declared publicly that a recent dig around Vavuvniya had revealed remains of -Tamil Buddhism-. As all archaeology in the country is done under the aegis of the Archaeology Department(actually under Dr Nimal Perera), I telephoned the latter and asked if this was true. Dr Nimal had been there at this excavation and Pushparatnam was therewith Archaeology Department permission and Dr Nimal replied implying that the whole report of Pushparatnam-â„¢s-Tamil Buddhism- was fiction. It is on such flimsy falsehood coming from the highest academic levelsthat the separatist fiction is maintained. Elsewhere in the worldacademics are expected to speak the truth and deliberate falsification is enough ground for dismissal. And in the case of Jaffna University, these writers of fiction are funded solely by the Sri Lanka government, the very state for whose dissolution they are propagandizing. And when after decades of LTTE threats, the archaeology findings of the Northern Province were eventually produced, it was plain to see that as far as the archaeological evidence went, there had been no separate exclusive Tamil homelands.

As the TamilNet wrote this Dr. S.K. Sitrampalamis -the Vice President of IlankaiThamizhArasukKatchi (ITAK), the main constituent of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA)-. And this Sitrampalam bears his Tiger claw when in a further TamilNet outburst he complains that: -What was refused to Prabahakaran cannot be given to others is the position of Mahinda Rajapaksa.”Sitrampalampronounces that the -the Mullivaaykkaal [LTTE] war was like Kurukshetra (the war of the Mahabharata epic) and Tamils should never forget it-. Ideologically, the TNA is still Prabahakaran.

But current genetic research reveals the folly of racist attitudes in our island in the midst of global traffic. Thus the six year study of Dr Ruwan Ileperuma shows that those who describe themselves as -Sinhalese- are the most genetically diverse indicating that this cultural category is the result of intermixing from many strands across the world. And -Tamils- have far less genetic diversity, indicating that they had arrived for the most part only in recent centuries and so were not subject to mixing with the populations from across the world. This was natural, as the bulk of upcountry Tamils were brought by the British in the 19thcentury to man the tea plantations. And the bulk of Jaffna Tamils were brought by the Dutch in the previous century to man tobacco plantations in the Jaffna Peninsula. Holding on to false racist exclusiveness does not stand up to 21st century science.

Clearly the TNA election results indicate that the LTTE ideology still persists. No wonder The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) declared that “President Rajapaksa and his government-¦ must at least now understand that mere infrastructure development and reconstruction is not what our people want-.Wigneswaran echoed this by declaring that -Roads and other infrastructure projects are just showpieces.- Wigneswaran who lives in the multi ethnic Western province and reportedly has two Sinhalese daughters-in-law is against having the same multi-ethnicity for the Northern Province.

The highest growth rate in Sri Lanka of nearly 30% was thus not sufficient to win the minds of the brainwashed. We have militarily disarmed the North but not flushed away the false propaganda. We must always remember the Western Allies-â„¢ realization after World War II that -only an inflexible long-term programme would lead to removing the vestiges of Nazi philosophy-.

Rapid development must not stop, but equally other strong measures are required to remove -the vestiges of Prabahakaran/Nazi philosophy-. This should mean among others taking strong disciplinary action against those spreading separatist falsehood. This should include universities and other organs supported by the government. The government ban on the LTTE says that its regulations -shall also apply to every other organization and to everybody or group of persons engaged in activities substantially similar to those carried on by the [LTTE]-. The gazette notification of the ban gives these offences as -making, printing, distribution or publication of any writing- on behalf of the LTTE implying its ideology. Under the regulations the government is authorized to look into any person or organization and if it is fronting for the LTTE, to forfeit its property. And the responsible minister-â„¢s -actions shall be final.”

The core LTTE ideology is still alive waiting for reviving separatism unless speedy action is taken. The virus that kept our society mired in poverty still exists. What could be done?

First, would be to get Jaffna archaelogists on pain of not getting excavation rights to announce/discuss findings only in a proper national academic milieu. Following Western post-World War II practice, we must remove from government-paid positions all those who propagated racist Tamil fiction. It would include those who supported or justified separatism. It would include all those foreign funded NGOs who had supported directly or indirectly LTTE propaganda. These NGOs should be denied their foreign funds and closed down after due publicity. Those media personnel and University academics that had been funded by anti-national NGOs to take positions against our sovereignty should also be sanctioned. They should simply, as in Germany, be denied their livelihoods in government and positions of influence in society through their use of foreign money. As in post-War France a few well publicized, symbolic cases should suffice. The country should not pay for its own dissolution.

These are necessary surgical operations that will prevent future deaths. While we remove the influence of proven ideologues against both truth and sovereignty, other legitimate democratic criticism of the government should of course be maintained and strengthened.(And definitely, no physical threats or thugs should be used). We still have lessons to learn from the West especially from World War 11.


6 Responses to “Prabhakaran’s ghost & a phoney war?”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    “It was not the much touted diaspora, but local Northern Tamils that voted massively for the TNA.”


    This is the truth some fools fail to understand.

    Even the SL Tamil Diaspora is made up of Tamils from SL!!

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    “The government ban on the LTTE says that its regulations “shall also apply to every other organization and to everybody or group of persons engaged in activities substantially similar to those carried on by the [LTTE]”. The gazette notification of the ban gives these offences as “making, printing, distribution or publication of any writing” on behalf of the LTTE implying its ideology. Under the regulations the government is authorized to look into any person or organization and if it is fronting for the LTTE, to forfeit its property. And the responsible minister’s “actions shall be final.””

    There itself lies the problem. It is LIMITED to the LTTE and does NOT extend to TNA, ITAK, etc. Technically TNA, ITAK is different to LTTE although actually they are the same.

    “substantially similar to those carried on by the [LTTE]” is not enough. It must be ALL SEPARATISTS.

    e.g. LTTE is banned in USA and Endia. But TNA is not.

    e.g. LTTE is banned in SL and cannot be in parliament but TNA is not banned.

    Govt. has to update this.

  3. AnuD Says:

    There are so many factors working here.

    Church and Tamils are two factors that we can overcome except for the fact that Westerners are also Church-goers, so they will support any grievances from the Church. We can win the Church.

    Secondly, India is fighting for it’s own survival and remember that USA gave UP on the balkanization of India because of so many Indian – American CEOs running the USA economy.

    So, Palali and Trincomalee are important , and are given almost free to India because India would lose it’s sovereignty. The benefit to Sri Lanka is that our women will not have children from american Soldiers. In other words, they will not have a Military camp in Palali or in Trincomalee.

    So, think about the ramifications and repercussions.

  4. SA Kumar Says:

    Susantha Goonatilake

    We Tamil have New leader (CM) now , Our Thesiya Thalaivar passed way 18th may 2009 ! I am sure You can trust him!

    Sinhalese have this as their only country- Vigneswaran !

    I have great respect to this Gent. I want to give credit ware it is due. Seems like he has the personna to work in harmony and build both side confidence so that cheap 3rd grade politicians will not have a say . As far as you play fare (I am sure you will with your background) believe me their will be more and more Sinhala ,Muslim and other factors will admire you and follow you. keep up the good work Sir. Fly the “Sri Lankan”. Flag.!

    Unit in diversity , no short cut ! United Sri Lanka !

    Live & let Live !
    forgive & forget !!!

    △ ▽

  5. jay-ran Says:

    lorenzo, U RVERY CORRECT!!!

  6. NAK Says:

    I think we are all standing on the tail and not seeing the problem as we should.

    After the defeat of the LTTE, TNA and diaspora organizations were all in shambles for a while not knowing which way to go and qauarreling with each other for assets and money.
    It was the western governments namely the US and UK that that revived these organizations. Robert o’Blake played a massive role in reviving the Tamil racists as well as certain Canadian and British politicians. But it was the US that took the lead and still does.
    So,atleast now we must realise who we are up agianst and and face the enemy rather than beating the deer pelt at home.
    I know it is easier said than done but we have no other way.
    The US is not going to let us off easily and that has nothing to do with Eelam or Tamils. Tamils are just a tool US uses against us at the moment and they will drop them the moment they realise the Tamils are of no further use(that’s the way US operates,throwaway culture). These fools don’t realise this now but eventually will.

    How do we do this. We must first reduce our dependency on the US market and find new markets to gradually reduce and eventually eliminate dependency on US. Then we must reduce their presence here to a manageable level.
    As we see it on the surface, we are a small country with no real interests for the US, but look at the US embassy in Colombo, it is as huge as any in a developed country and fortified like a US military base.
    They do have a geo political interest in Sri Lanka and they intend to safe guard it at any cost,with any means.
    Like it or not,if we let them, we are doomed.

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