By Izeth Hussain –
In the concluding paragraph of my last article I wrote that it is time for the LTTE and its clones to be extirpated from off the face of the earth. The present article, and others I hope to write, should be seen as meant to promote that extirpation. At the time I wrote my last article I had not seen the one by D.B.S. Jeyaraj in the Daily Mirror of September 17. It seems to be the only detailed account of what actually happened at the Kuala Lumpur airport, and it provides background information that enables us to understand the significance of what happened. That significance points to the need for the extirpation of the LTTE and its clones that I am advocating.
In my last article I surmised that the attack on the Ambassador could either have been fortuitous, something that happened in the heat of the moment after angry words were exchanged, or it could have been the expression of the intense Islamophobic hatred that prevails among a segment of the Tamils. The details brought out by Jeyaraj establish beyond dispute that the attack wasn’t a fortuitous occurrence. The pre-planned target may have been the former President Rajapaksa, but the assailants pursued the Ambassador, knowing who he was, through the airport premises until they caught up with him in a supposedly secured area. Thereafter it was not one or two irate Tamils who had lost control of themselves, but five who joyously joined in subjecting the Ambassador to a savage beating. A gash over one eye suggests that he almost lost it. The only words heard in the video footage are “Enough, enough”. According to a story justifying the attack the Ambassador had been asked where Rajapaksa was, and he had replied provocatively by telling the questioner to ask the police. Possibly that story was a concoction. But the very notion, the utterly absurd notion, that that reply could justify the attack attests to the depth of Islamophobic hatred that prevails among some Tamils.
The Jeyaraj article provides material on the excellent relations that Ambassador Ansar had succeeded in establishing with Tamils in Malaysia, among whom the attack had consequently set off shock waves. I won’t cite any of the details here for want of space. But of course Malaysia has a very substantial Tamil presence, which means that the Ambassador would have had to counter the activities of the LTTE and its affiliates as part of his normal duties. Let us bear in mind that it was in Kuala Lumpur that that sinister personage Kumar Pathmanathan was abducted and brought to Sri Lanka. Ansar has had a good record as Ambassador, and we can presume that he has been conscientious in countering the LTTE etc, and furthermore that he has been successful in doing so. In that context it becomes arguable that there really was nothing so odd about the attack on him by a group of Tamil extremists, and therefore I should not jump to conclusions about Tamil Islamophobic hatred. But surely there have been a great many Ambassadors and officers who have been very active in countering the LTTE over several decades in Western capitals and elsewhere: nothing comparable to Ambassador Ansar’s fate has overtaken any of them. That fate fits in perfectly with phrases I have been using about Tamil attacks on me in the Colombo Telegraph: hysterical hatred, mad dog rage, a total annihilating hatred. I will provide a concrete illustration. About a year ago one Tamil predicted that I would shortly die and that I would die horribly in a state of rage. Another Tamil, a successful professional in a Western capital, elaborated on that with something like a sketch for a short story, at the conclusion of which I was violently beaten to death.
The Jeyaraj article provides details that point to very shocking dereliction of duty on the part of the Malaysian authorities: “Despite assurances that adequate security would be provided to High Commissioner and the Sri Lankan mission nothing tangible materialized for many days. This led to much heartburn within official circles in Colombo. A note of concern at the delay was conveyed to Kuala Lumpur at the highest level. Finally, after a week-long delay security was provided by the Malaysian authorities with effect from September 12”. Something more than a mere dereliction of duty of a neutral order was clearly involved. Other details – which I am not going to mention here for want of space – show that the Malaysian authorities were very remiss indeed, so much so that our Government would have been justified in terms of diplomatic norms if it had recalled the Ambassador and continued representation only at a lower than Ambassadorial level. Instead, our Government has chosen to react very mildly, for which it may have good reasons that are impolitic to divulge to the public. One question arises: Has there been an attempt by Tamil extremists to spoil our relations with Malaysia, one of the more important Islamic countries?
Prime Minister WickremEsinghe has declared that the Government is prepared to send a delegation for discussions with the We Tamil group that was responsible for the attack. Probably many members of the public would say that that has to be expected of the naïve peacenik that the Prime Minister has shown himself to be in the past. On the contrary, it may be that he wants to show to the international community that the Government is prepared to bend over backwards in being accommodative even to the most extremist Tamil groups in the interest of effecting ethnic reconciliation. Probably he understands quite well that no serious dialogue is possible with a LTTE clone. I have found that out in the course of my own protracted exchanges with the Tamil Islamophobic racists. Two things have become clear: one is that they are impervious to reason and the other is that they are devoid of a moral sense. They are convincing examples to show racism’s terrifying potential to dehumanize and bestialize, which was clearly demonstrated by the Nazis.
Now is the time to extirpate the LTTE and its clones from off the face of the earth. The reason is that there is now a better prospect than ever before of reaching a political solution and effecting ethnic reconciliation. The reasons are well known, so I don’t have to reiterate them. The LTTE could be expected to try to abort that outcome. It began as a credible national liberation movement which took to the gun because that was the only way that the Tamils could affirm their human status, which had been denied by State terrorism from 1977 to 1983. But it degenerated into a retrograde tribalist movement which eventually brought to the Tamil people unparalleled disaster in 2009. It has to be expected therefore that it would want to abort the peace process in the hope that it will somehow someday establish Eelam. The peace process requires the extirpation of the LTTE and its clones.