SANGAREE WRITES TO CORNERED PRABHAKARAN AND APPEALS TO SURRENDER ARMS AND DROP SEPARATISM
By Walter Jayawardhana
In an appeal which he named an eleventh hour one Tamil United Liberation
Front President V. Ananda Sangaree appealed to V. Prabhakaran to surrender
arms, give up the concept of separation and sit down for talks on the
resolution of the Sri Lankan conflict.
In a cordial letter addressed to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
(LTTE) supremo by his pet name and addressing him as My Dear Thamby
the elder Tamil leader Sangaree told Prabhakaran, I have written
a number of letters to you with good intentions but there had been no
response for anyone of them either from you or from anybody else on
your behalf. It is very unfortunate that without taking any of my advice
or warnings seriously you and your cadre continue with your atrocious
activities without realizing the immense harm and the damage you cause
to the Tamil People whom you claim to be solely represented by you and
to the poor innocent Sinhala village folks who mind their own business
without coming into any confrontation with you and your cadre.
There are a few who spit communal venom like you for personal gains.
But they dont claim that they are the sole representatives of
the Sinhalese as you claim that you are the sole representative of the
Tamil people. It is in doubt whether your own cadre accept you as the
sole representative of the Tamils. Please keep your guns aside and open
your Iron Curtain to allow free movement of the people. You will hardly
find anyone left behind. Then you will realize how correct I am. It
will take very many years to neutralize the poison of racism you have
injected into the minds of our younger generation. Fortunately the younger
generation of the Sinhalese is now free from the communal stigma. They
live like children of the same parentage.
The Tamils of Sri Lanka were always proud of their culture and civilization. Brutal murders and tortures are some thing very foreign to them. You are the one who have introduced this new culture of brutality, shooting and hacking people to death. The Tamil people were not accustomed to brutality and terrorism. Some cruel murders had taken place during the few communal riots that had taken place in the past. Those killings were by some hoodlums. The Sinhala civilians had always been sympathetic and also saved the Tamils from their hoodlums. There are several instances in which your brutality exceeded all limits, to the extent of mercilessly killing many women and children. You did not spare even pregnant women and babies. Can you mention one such incident that had taken place in which the Sinhalese civilians had participated. If so I like to know when and where? But disgracefully there are several brutal incidents in which you and your cadre had been fully involved and put the blame on some unidentified persons. But the people know very well in which of the incidents your cadre were involved and in which incident some others are involved. I am not holding a brief to anybody.
What I maintain is that Sinhala civilians did not have any hand in
any brutal killings of Tamils as claimed by you. If there are any exceptions
they were during the communal riots that took place a few times between
1958 and 1983. The riots of 1983 and the mini riots confined to Trincomalee
alone, were also due to the deliberate provocations you gave. The Tamil
public servants, teachers, doctors, and such others had been killed
by you in large numbers and not by the Sinhalese as claimed by you.
Can you say that your hands are clean in this respect? You are the one
who should take full responsibility for all such killings among the
As accused by you, the Sinhalese never changed in spite of so
much of destruction you caused to their property and the innumerable
innocent lives of men, women and children they lost in bomb blasts,
claymore mine attacks, suicide bomb attacks etc. They were deliberately
planted by your cadre on your instructions to provoke a backlash in
predominantly Sinhala populated areas. Every one knows that you are
trying hard to provoke a backlash to have a repeated performance of
July, 1983 in which every Tamil in the South got badly affected. You
did it to cause discredit to the country and its people. The credit
goes to the ordinary Sinhalese for saving the lives of hundreds of thousands
of Tamil lives spread all over the South of the country. The hoodlums
responsible for the backlash too have now become wiser and not falling
into your trap, in spite of your repeated brutal killings of the Sinhalese
almost every day.
Thousands had lost their eye sights and limbs. Over twenty thousand
Tamil youths of both sexes and double that number of youths from the
Sinhale and Muslim Communities had been sacrificed in the battle field,
all of whom came from very poor Sinhalese Tamil and Muslim families.
If only every one in this country has an atom of sympathy for these
unfortunate youths and their parents, there wont be any problem
in this country to be solved by fighting a war. People say that you
have taken them for a ride. The Sinhalese people also feel the same
about some of their leaders. The average people want peace with equal
treatment for all. They do not want preferential treatment for anybody.
The Tamil People want you either to give up your demand for separation
and negotiate with the Government or to leave them alone to manage their
The People had tolerated you for exactly twenty five years. Is there
no end to their agony? Please dont be guided by your supporters
living abroad and some Tamil media that glorify you even for your actions
that deserve condemnation. They are well settled with their wives and
children abroad. Some of them have thoroughly exploited your name and
made a lot of money. Many of them had deserted you with the wealth they
have acquired in your name. Hence please dont trust them any more.
Most of their children do not know even one word of Tamil. It is the
same with some who run the media in your name in foreign counties.
The People have tasted the bitterness of your so called freedom struggle,
going on for quarter of a century. Before you meet with the same fate
in the North also, please change your aggressive mood, tame your cadre
and go to the people as a non-violent force, throwing away all your
arms. The moment you stop fighting and give up your arms the Government
will have no alternative but to stop fighting. If you have any sympathy
for the young men in your cadre who are getting killed in large numbers
every day, please call for a cease-fire unilaterally and save the lives
of the children of the poor parents, most of whom had been recruited
by you compulsorily.
You are not unaware how some local leaders embarrass them by accusing
them of supporting you. Even the Government had made such accusations
against certain countries and NGOs. I too had found fault with some
for favouring you. Dont forget that you are just an individual
and not the Head of a State for them to salute you. The International
Community has a moral duty to liberate the people living under your
subjugation. My charge against the International Community and the United
Nations is that, in spite of my repeated requests for the liberation
of the people in areas under your control, they have not taken any action.
The International Community is not expecting compensation for the insults
and humiliations they have suffered in your hands and in the hands of
some local leaders. All what they want is peace and normalcy back in
Sri Lanka. That is all.
India is the country from where we all came and therefore it has some interest in us and hence has a major role to play. India is a large country with the second largest in population. Being separated by a strait of only 22 miles, it has a moral duty to rush to the aid of Sri Lanka in times of distress. It had proved it on a number of occasions such as floods cyclone, Tsunami and even insurrection. Rightly or wrongly the Indian Government intervened and negotiated a settlement to the ethnic problem. Indias intervention was at the request of the Tamil leadership and the accord was singed by India on behalf of the Tamils to facilitate easy implementation. India was asked to do so by the TULF which won all Tamil majority seats in the North and the East, except one seat which the TULF lost by only about 500 votes.
This election was not like the one conducted by you in 2004. If you had not shown your ruthlessness, the people would have been living peacefully in this country, with the implementation of the accord in 1989. Today the country would have progressed, over taking all the other Asian countries and would have been a leading nation. You should be held responsible for the present state of affairs. It is you who acted as Para-military force of the Government at that time for a consideration of lorry loads of money, arms and ammunitions and disrupted the implementation of the Indo-Sri Lanka accord. Now after eradicating a large number of ex-members of various Tamil groups who had returned to the democratic stream, you now ridiculously accuse them as Para-military force of the Government, completely forgetting what you did in 1989.
You are the one who first garlanded and received the IPKF and later
fought it as Para-military of the Sri Lankan Government at that time
and killed over 1200 IPKF soldiers and also created about 1000 widows
of Indian Jawans. There were some unpleasant incidents in which you
compelled the IPKF to get involved in. They came to keep peace in Sri
Lanka and not to fight. Please dont forget that the IPKF was not
comprised of Gandhians. They were also human beings and their tolerance
too had its limitations. You must take full responsibility for any atrocities
you deliberately got them involved in.
You are not the Prabhakaran of the nineteen eighties. You are
now a matured person who should be in a position to understand and assess
the situation. Please take my advice and give up your demand for separation.
Agree for a reasonable solution based on the Indian Model for which
the International Community will give you full backing. Surprisingly
you will find a large section of the people of Sri Lanka also supporting
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