27 October, 2020

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FASCISM, SOVEREIGNTY AND THE TRUTH ABOUT THE TAMIL STRUGGLE

By Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Let’s have a little context, shall we, comrades? When the vast multitude of Sri Lankan citizens was hoping and praying for emancipation from decades of terrorism and was determined to finish off the Tigers, Ajit Surendra Rupesinghe (ASR) was striving pathetically to mobilise opposition to that goal, by creating an organisation termed the Anti-War Front. An Anti-War Front, precisely during the last war! Relatively recent exposures in the media reveal that the Anti-War Front received quite considerable funding from a Western source.

Now for ASR’s politico-ideological coordinates. He proudly belonged to a so-called Maoist international which termed itself the Revolutionary International Movement (RIM), the most prominent member of which was the notoriously barbaric and terroristic ‘Sendero Luminoso’ (Shining Path) of Peru. Another member was the Indian Naxalite movement which is conducting an armed struggle against a secular, quasi-federal, electoral democracy; a struggle which includes attacks on civilians and the decapitation and dismembering of policemen.

ASR’s stance within Marxist-Leninist theory and history is also eccentric. Having joined the Ceylon Communist Party led by N. Sanmugathasan, he produced a long and turgid dissenting document (which comrade Shan showed with me with a smile and shake of the head at the political illiteracy of the author) claiming that the Communist International, Georgi Dmitrov and Stalin were wrong in the one thing that even hostile historians concede they were correct: the Popular Front period and World War II, i.e. the formation of the broadest alliances against Nazi fascism, nationally (including with the bourgeoisie) and globally (with the US and UK).

Triangulate these three coordinates and ASR’s diatribe against me is entirely comprehensible and consistent. What is a little cheap is that he lies. I have never said that state sovereignty is above people’s sovereignty. Not only have I not said that, I have said exactly the opposite!     To give just a single example, in my polemic in defence of state sovereignty with Dr Nihal Jayawickrema (‘the State of state Sovereignty’ March 31, 2010 Transcurrents) I wrote:

N. Sanmugathasan (right) with Mao

“If Dr Jayawickrama were to content himself with charging that GOSL is abusing the concept of state sovereignty one could scarcely disagree. State sovereignty has certainly been over-invoked and abused by the GOSL in the post-war period; in peacetime. The problem today is that the closer affinity between ‘national sovereignty’ and (republican) ‘popular sovereignty’ has been glossed over in favour of the equation of ‘national sovereignty’ with ‘state sovereignty’ and ‘state sovereignty’ with ‘state security’, which has itself been equated not with the more holistic recent doctrine of ‘human security’ but with the government of the day, so that the monstrous equation concludes with any activity outside the parameters prescribed by the dominant ideology being anti-government activity; anti-government activity being anti-state activity, tantamount to activity against the security of the state and therefore against national/state sovereignty itself — while the role of the state is increasingly defined in ethno-religious terms. An illustration of this phenomenon is the hitherto unprecedented detention of a young Sinhala woman author and convert to Islam. That unconscionable narrowing of state sovereignty to state security and that too defined in the narrowest partisan sense, was perhaps pioneered by the 1970-77 administration of Madam Sirima Bandaranaike and chiefly by Hon Felix Dias Bandaranaike…”

I have also argued against any trade-off between national and popular sovereignty (‘Debating Sovereignty in Sri Lanka’ GV April 12, 2010). Most importantly I have pointed out that the Declaration of Rights of Man and the Citizen’, the iconic founding text of rights in the age of reason and modernity, proclaimed in Paris in the year of the Revolution 1789, says in its third Article that ‘all sovereignty flows from the nation’. Therefore, I argue – and strive with difficulty– for a synthesis between national/state, popular and individual sovereignty (or sovereignties).

ASR argues that the LTTE was not fascist; that it was not one of the world’s most ferocious terrorist movements, that the atrocities of the LTTE mirrored and were a response to those of the state, and that the EPRLF of K Pathmanabha, which was the ally of our Vikalpa Kandayama in the 1980s, was essentially no different from the LTTE. He is wrong on some of these counts and untruthful on the others.

He confuses the ‘regime phase’ of fascism with its ‘movement phase’. The Tigers were of a piece with fascism as movement, but its rule in the North East during the CFA showed structural and systemic similarities with even the regime phase of fascism. As for the role of the bourgeoisie, ASR omits that of the off-shore Tamil bourgeoisie and the conduits of imperialism which are still propelling the LTTE and secessionism globally.

ASR argues that the LTTE was not fascist; that it was not one of the world’s most ferocious terrorist movements, that the atrocities of the LTTE mirrored and were a response to those of the state, and that the EPRLF of K Pathmanabha, which was the ally of our Vikalpa Kandayama in the 1980s, was essentially no different from the LTTE. He is wrong on some of these counts and untruthful on the others. - Pathmanabha and Kethish with southern politicians

Now this identification of the LTTE with fascism is not a piece of idiosyncratic propaganda by me.  There may be much wrong with Sinhala society, but if any political formation/entity in Sri Lanka can be dubbed fascist it is surely not the state or mainstream political parties, and if any community on the island bears a resemblance to German society in its compliance with fascism it is surely not the Sinhalese. The editor of the Penguin/Pelican Reader’s Guide to Fascism, a standard text on the subject, Emeritus Professor Walter Laqueur, wrote of the Tamil Tigers in ‘The New Terrorism’, that “in respect of its ruthlessness and fanaticism,[he] could find only one parallel: the fascist movements of Europe in the 1920s and 30s”. John Burns, the Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times journalist described Prabhakaran as “the Pol Pot of South Asia”. In 2010, looking back at the war, The Economist referred to the LTTE as “almost classically fascist”. Robert D Kaplan refers to the “Tamil Tigers, among the post World War II era’s most ruthless and bloodthirsty organisations”.

Greg Sheridan, Foreign Editor of The Australian wrote late last year that: “…the defeat of the Tamil Tigers was a decisive defeat of perhaps the bloodiest and most murderous terrorist group the world has seen.” He goes on to write that ‘Alexander Downer, Australia’s foreign minister for 11 years of the war, tells me: “I know the Sri Lankan government played very hard ball and committed some human rights abuses, but it’s a wonderful thing the Sri Lankan government won that war. I have always regarded the Tamil Tigers as absolutely a terrorist organisation.” ‘(‘Criticism of Sri Lanka ignores Tiger Threat’, The Australian, November 5, 2011)

Ajit Surendra Rupesinghe lies serially. He says I belonged to the EPRLF, which I never did even for a day (and was never accused of). I belonged to the Vikalpa Kandayama, as did Dayapala Tiranagama, Pulsara Liyanage, Ram Manikkalingam, Qadri Ismail and Tisaranee Gunasekara among others, while Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri and CA Chandraprema were among those closely affiliated with the VK through the Independent Students Union (ISU). As for being “the foremost ideologue” of the North-East Provincial Council, it is a trifle difficult to believe how I could have done that since I resigned within months of taking office and publicised my criticisms in an Open Letter which appeared in the mainstream Sunday newspaper in early 1989!

ASR engages in calumny and vilification when he equates, implies similarities between or places in the same category, the Marxist-Leninist EPRLF and the fascist LTTE. An acknowledged expert on the Tigers and biographer of Prabhakaran, MR Narayan Swamy of India Abroad News Service sets the historical record straight in his commemorative piece on the EPRLF’s founder-leader K Pathmanabha, who was the 8th accused in the case in the High Courts of Colombo on 14 counts starting with ‘conspiracy to overthrow the state through violence’ under the PTA and the Emergency; a case in which I was the 1st accused.

 “If the Tamil Tigers had not assassinated him, K. Pathmanabha would have turned 60 Saturday. A Sri Lankan Tamil who embraced militancy in the 1970s, Nabha – as he was known – did not have the glamour of Velupillai Prabhakaran. He did not kill at will.

…A humble man, he embraced Marxism like so many of his era. Nabha strongly believed that salvation for the Tamils lay in forging bonds with like-minded Sinhalese and building a new non-racist Sri Lanka. He did not advocate ethnic hatred. In the process, he lost the race among militants to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that ballooned with tit-for-tat killings after the 1983 anti-Tamil violence.

The Tamil community then sought revenge. Prabhakaran delivered them what they wanted. The likes of Pathmanabha took a backseat. To the LTTE, men like Pathmanabha were a hindrance to the fight for Tamil Eelam. One day, Prabhakaran sent hitmen who shot dead Nabha and his close associates in Chennai in June 1990.

…When he died, Nabha was only 39 years old. Tamil Nadu Police was lax in their investigations, thanks to which the man who oversaw the mayhem came back to India next year to mastermind Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination.

Nabha was no theoretician or a military craftsman. Like Prabhakaran, he was at home in Tamil. But unlike the Tigers chief, he was passionate about a dignified political deal for the Tamils.

Born in 1951, Nabha was a student activist who became radicalized following the killing of 11 people at a 1974 Tamil conference in Jaffna. In 1976, when his middle class parents sent him to Britain for higher studies, he met fellow Tamils who shared his political views. In London, PLO representative Said Hamaami, later assassinated by radical Palestinians, helped a small group of Sri Lankan Tamils, Nabha included, to take military training in the Middle East. After a while, he returned to Sri Lanka where security forces were looking for him. He travelled in different identities, disguising himself as a worker or a shopkeeper or a student. He lived among farm workers. In 1981, Nabha travelled to Kumbakonam town in Tamil Nadu and laid the foundation for the EPRLF. He remained its general secretary till he died.

He was not without faults. His EPRLF regime was accused of killings and more when it presided over Sri Lanka’s northeast. But his heart was not in breaking up Sri Lanka. He bitterly opposed the LTTE’s killing of innocent Sinhalese. Nabha constantly argued that Prabhakaran’s murderous politics would one day leave the Tamil community in ruins. Even when he died, trying to ward off AK-47 carbine with a pillow, no one would have imagined that he would prove to be so very right.” (“A Sri Lankan Tamil who could have made a difference’, MR Narayan Swamy, IANS, 19 November 2011)

So much for politics and historical truth according to Comrade Ajit Surendra!

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Latest comments

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    It may well be justifiable to describe the LTTE as a fascist organization. But if there are any lessons to be learnt then it is that extremism begets further extremism. Let’s never forget how the LTTE and Eelam separatism movement came about: the Sinhala Only and Apay Aanduwa attitudes engendered by S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike’s MEP were racist if not overtly fascist and it was that majoritarian, nationalist chauvinism that encouraged the persecution of Tamils in the 1958 emergency. Bandaranaike was either unable or not prepared to deal with the rioters and it was left to the Governor-General , Oliver Goonetillike, to use the military against the goondas and the mob. As Tarzie Vittachi suggests in his book Emergency ’58 the events of 1958 brought about the parting-of-the-ways between The Tamils and the Sinhalese and paved the way for separatism and terrorism.

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    I fail to see the point of this self-indulgent piece which attacks a political analyst (ASR) who, like the author, is of little significance to most people’s day-to-day existence.
    The LTTE is a failed organisation. Whether it is/was a fascist movement or not is far less relevant than the likelihood of its resurgence.
    The LTTE’s origins have parallels with those of other nationalist, revolutionary movements. From Maximilien Robespierre to George Washington; from Lenin to Adolf Hitler; from Mao Tse Tung to Ho Chi Minh and from Fidel Castro to Pol Pot, all violent uprisings would not have achieved critical mass without support from a disgruntled population with a genuine sense of grievance. That they were fascist, communist, Marxist, this-ist or that-ist is completely irrelevant as far as the Sri Lankan sitation is concerned. Nor is that of the LTTE.
    Well, Your Excellency, when you are not carrying out interesting intellectual analyses of the LTTE, what are YOU doing about addressing the sense of betrayal that all Sri Lankans feel about the way the current SL government is going about squandering opportunities for peace?

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      from 1980 to 2005 Ltte Killed unarmed 100,000 Sinhalese by raping women, infants killing,and etnic clensing from North and east, Camone lets also ask War crime from UK,USA and other countries to give Justice to these innocent sinhala people who were killled by the hands of LTTE’

      over 2000 attacked to innocent Sinhala villages in EAST from 1983 to 2005

      over 1000 Sinhala babies under 3 were shot dead by LTTE
      over 5000 Sinhala women were raped and killed by LTTE
      Lets ask justice from UN, lets start it , silent is over.

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    “He bitterly opposed the LTTE’s killing of innocent Sinhalese”

    I find this sentence somewhat strange……very Sri Lankan…….perhaps even very Sinhalese…..

    For example, I have not heard of

    “He bitterly opposed the IRA’s killing of innocent English”

    I would suggest that it is a sentence that betrays the prejudice of its author…………

    Lets ask Mr Jayathillake, if

    “He bitterly opposed the SLA’s killing of innocent Tamils”?

    Especially during the last phase of the war and given that more Tamils lost their lives than the Sinhalese in this conflict…..

    Lets ask Mr jayathillake,

    Now that the war is over, who killed more…..

    Did the LTTE kill more Sinhalese, or did the SLA kill more Tamils?

    All “innocents” eh?

    For the LTTE’s crimes they were branded “terrorists”.

    For the SLA’s crimes they are branded “war criminals”.

    In years to come, when future generations look back at us, will they say that we conducted ourselves with honour?

    How does the world see us even today?

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      For God’s sake Dushy, there you go, doing it again.

      Why on earth ask me about the sentence “he bitterly opposed the LTTE’s killing of innocent Sinhalese” when it was written not by me, but by MR Narayan Swamy, as is blindingly obvious from the fact that the sentence is located in an excerpt, which I have placed in italics and within inverted commas, sourced and dated?

      It may seem “very Sri Lankan or perhaps even very Sinhalese” ( whatever that may mean) to you, but it appeared in an IANS story with a byline of a well known journalist and author, and was reproduced in many publications and websites.

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        You are quoting it in support of your argument so obviously you are in agreement?

        Irrespective of that, you have failed to answer my questions?

        Do they make you uncomfortable?

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        Dr. Dayan why cant innocent Sinhala people who got killed by Ltte expose to these people to see the truth. Can you work on North east Sinhalese people who were chased from their original lands from 1983 and in Jaffna still 50,000 Sinhalese were searching their lands occupied by Tamils after they were chased by the Ltte military cadres. Can you expose this truth to Tamils please. and over 60,000 Unarmed Sinhalese died from the hands of Ltte from 1983 to 2005, can you expose to the world truth of the Innocent sinhala Villagers once mentioned as border villagers by NGO and some Governments who were severely, brutally, killed by LTTE.

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      You must be on the moon. Hve you been to war zones to spend your two cents worth of sense. The IRA were fighting against the “planters” Unionists. The Catholics were hounded had the highest jumber of unemployed and homeless people. The English were an invading party so everyoen who was on the Unionists side were invaders who stayed to keep the power. The IRA did not murder two year old children with cutting instruments. Children in Gonagala, Amparaiwere murdered with axes.
      Kethish Loganathan never admitted that the LTTE were capable of rape. He said they never did anything wrong.. I was on the field and three Muslim girls near Cheedikulam said they were raped. Kethish was in Colombo and decided to remove that part of my article from the Weekend Express claiming that it was a minority newspaper. Then he found out later what it was to be a minority in the LTTE. Knowing Chandrika did not make a difference.

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        I was in Jaffna during the war, so lets put that to rest.

        The response and violence of the IRA was proportional to that of the British…. I was in the city of London, when the IRA blew of the city. Glass fell on my desk at 122 Leadenhall Street.

        It was the same in Sri Lanka…..????? remember 83?

        rape you say?

        Tamil parents were torched, their teenage kids dragged out gang raped and then petrol poured over and set alight…..

        Lets not kid ourselves……

        We were the greater murderer, the greater rapists, the greater oppressors….

        Thats why the whole world sympathises with the Tamil cause…..only our weerayas are kidding themselves….

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        Who the hell cares about your stupid articles, you moron. And who were you compared to Kethesh? We have not even heard of you before you started writing poisonous blogs to Colombo Telegraph.

        My problem with these blogs is that they allow nonenetities like this moron to start writing about himself!

        By the way, I do agree with the point riased by another contributor to this thread, that Dayan does ‘not have the theoretical legitimacy, nor the moral high ground to target the LTTE as fascist. ‘ Too true!

        ,

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    Dr. Dayan,
    You get your facts straight. I was never a member of the Anti-War Front, although I did oppose the war and the pursuit of a military solution. The Ceylon Communist Party- Maoist was indeed a member of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, and we are proud of it. It was our founding leader, Com. Shan who contributed in establishing the RIM, when our party became a founding member. So, don’t try to drive a wedge between Com. Shan and me. In fact he handed over responsibility for the party to me as Secretary of the Organising Committee at a special congress, before he left for London for health reasons. The Communist Party of Peru ( Maoist) better known as “Sendero Luminoso” , or “Shining Path’ was indeed a member of the RIM, along with our party. Here again, you take sides with the Peruvuian State and US Imperialism against the people, and revolution. At least you are consistent in defending the imperialist/ neo-colonial status quo. Try to liberate your mind from its “Readers Digest” ideological frame. The Peruvian State attacked the Shining Path and the masses with a form of the most sustained, bestial State terrorism. Hey, did you know that the Peruvian State even filed charges of war crimes agaginst its then president who prosecuted the war agaginst the PCP-M. As for your condemnation of the Naxalite Maoists in India who are waging a just revolutionary struggle agaginst the indian State to liberate the tribals, who are being driven from their traditonal homelands to make way for multi-nationals to plunder the whole region and where the Indian state has been accused of genocidal war- as in Kashmir, it just exposes your political career in siding with Imperialism and the most reactionary terrorist states against the oppressed. masses.

    I really don’t care how many references you may pile up, that does not theoretically establish that the LTTE is a fascist organisation. Please take the challenge on theoretically, as opposed to bibliography. Fascism refers to a theoretical-historical concept of a particular form of Monoploly Capitalist Dictatorship. Get it? I did not equate the EPRLF with the LTTE ideologically. I pointed out, and you have agreed that the EPRLF too engaged in killings of civilians, with aid of the IPKF. I like the way you just brush this off. OK? You were never a member of the EPRLF, but you were a Minister in its provincial government- if even for three months. You were one time comrades-in-arms with VarathaRaj Perumal of the EPRLF, who made a declaration of independence of the sovereign state of Thamil Eelam, were you not? My point is that you do not have the theoretical legitimacy, nor the moral high ground to target the LTTE as fascist.

    Now, Mangala Samaraweera had confessed to the US embassy of the existence of hit squads delegated by the state- called Lion Cubs and Hambantota Cats to abduct and kill LTTE sympathisers in the South- as exposed in Wickie Leaks. You have refrained from commenting-typically- on the whole train of State terrorist crimes and wilful violent subjugation committed against the Tamil nation and the Tamil people, which continues even today, unabated. Well, Dayan, I shall not be a part of wiping the blood off this regime. I will let you do that, since you are so good at it. But I shall not betray the memory of Lasantha Wickremetunga , Joseph Pararajasingham, Raviraj, Pradeep Eknaligoda, and all those courageous people who have been abducted and or killed by this regime, not to mention some 40,000 civilians who are alleged to have been killed during the last stages of the war. I shall not justify the alleged shelling of hospitals and civilians in No-Fire Zones, nor the grotesque atrocities committed against prisoners of war, including the mutiliation and sexual abuse of women. I cannot prove these crimes happened , but then nor can you prove they did not happen. That is why there is a need to establish an independent investigation. But you have decided that none of these crimes ever happened and you have rushed to the defense of the Regime. If you have any sense of independence and integiry, you too could call for an independent, credible and transparent mechanism to establish accountability- independent of both foreign interests and the Regime, could you not? But then, you would lose your position and status as H.E. the Ambassador

    Com. Surendra

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      Right On, Comrade! Let the hypocrites and the propangandists have it, straight from the elbow!

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      Surendra you are talking about 40,000 people killed in last war , from 1983 to 2005 Ltte Killed over 60,000 unarmed Sinhala people and infants in EAST and entire country with bus bombs, train bombs, jumped into the villages at night and massacred, raped , so if tamils need war crime these Sinhala people also need a war crime from your Transactional government.

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    LTTE is fascist..

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      Well, we may agree or disagree on the meaning of fascist. Definitely the LTTE was our worst nightmare. But how would you, Nissanka label Mahinda? I am curious to know. For me, he is our second worst nightmare!

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        Candra when in 2004, when I went to Vavuniya in 2004, already Army was packing their bags to go home, that mental was changed by Mahinda, and with correct guidance given by him Army took that killers head. is any wrong in Mahindha ?

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    Dear Dr. Dayan,
    The LLRC appointed by HE Mahinda Rajapakse in its report (Article: 8.150) says:
    “The Commission takes the view that the root cause of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka lies in the failure of successive Governments to address the genuine grievances of the Tamil people. The country may not have been confronted with a violent separatist agenda, if the political consensus at the time of independence had been sustained and if policies had been implemented to build up and strengthen the confidence of the minorities around the system which had gained a reasonable measure of acceptance.”

    First of all, the statement of the Commission that:”The country may not have been confronted with a violent separatist agenda, if the political consensus at the time of independence had been sustained and if policies had been implemented to build up and strengthen the confidence of the minorities around the system which had gained a reasonable measure of acceptance” confirms that the “VIOLENT SEPARATIST AGENDA” agenda” was the outcome of the “failure of successive Governments to address the genuine grievances of the Tamil people.”

    WHAT MADE THE GOVERNMENTS OF SRI LANKA TO CAUSE genuine grievances to the Tamils and WHAT CAUSED the successive Governments of Sri Lanka to fail in addressing the genuine grievances of the Tamil people?

    Under ‘The Different Phases in the Narrative of Tamil Grievances’ the Commission has highlighted in art.8.163 of its Report that:

    “The decisive rift in the inter-ethnic relationship came first with the riots of 1958, then in1977, and culminating in what is known as ‘Black July’ of 1983, and the heinous failure of the then Government to provide adequate protection to Tamil citizens. The problems pertaining to the Tamil Community and their grievances cannot be fully addressed without a fuller understanding of this culture of violence that marred the relationship between the Sinhala and Tamil communities.”

    Thus, the LLRC indirectly accepts that the “CULTURE OF VIOLENCE” was introduced in the country NOT BY THE TAMILS, BUT BY THE SINHALESE AND IT WAS INDIRECTLY CATALYZED BY THE GOVERNMENTS OF SRI LANKA.

    It is very important to note at this juncture that the LLRC has not analyzed and found WHAT MADE THE GOVERNMENTS OF SRI LANAK TO CATALYZE THE ‘CULTURE OF VIOLENCE’ IN THE COUNTRY.

    With these, what fascism you are talking about? Yes! we know that you are paid servant of the Sinhala – Theravada Buddhist nationalist extremists!!
    Do you know hundreds of Tamil civilians were killed by ‘your’ EPRLF during the IPKF occupation? Ask Suresh Premachandran and Duglous! Those who have been living in the North only know the truth. Not only Karuna of the LTTE, but these two must be prosecuted for war crime my dear!

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    “Thus, the inexorable dialectic of vanguard violence and state repression enables the Tamil people to know themselves and know their enemy. It raises their political consciousness from the level of a nation un sich to that of a nation fur sich.”

    – Dayan Jayatillake

    It seems that even Dayan Jayatillake acknowledges a unique and distinctive Tamil nation exists within Sri Lanka, at least when his cushy appointment in Geneva is not under peril.

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      Does he have a cushy appointment in Geneva? I thought he was in Paris.

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    ““…the defeat of the Tamil Tigers was a decisive defeat of perhaps the bloodiest and most murderous terrorist group the world has seen.”

    This is a gross oversimplification of the facts. The LTTE had little influence beyond the borders of SL, with the exception of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination. In contrast, Al-Qaeda has managed to strike on 5 different continents with relative ease. In fact, it was Al-Qaeda, not the LTTE, that staged the most spectacular terrorist attack, striking deep into the heart of the financial capital of the world.

    “There may be much wrong with Sinhala society, but if any political formation/entity in Sri Lanka can be dubbed fascist it is surely not the state or mainstream political parties, and if any community on the island bears a resemblance to German society in its compliance with fascism it is surely not the Sinhalese.”

    This shows a woeful lack of understanding of the dynamics behind German society’s reluctant acceptance of the Wehrmacht. Regardless of his political beliefs, Hitler restored to the German people that dignity which had been trampled upon by the Versailles Treaty. It was the Versailles Treaty, coupled with hyperinflation, NOT anti-semitism, that accelerated Hitler’s rise to power. In contrast, EVERY Sinhala-Buddhist President has come to power by appealing to the anti-Tamil sentiment of the Sinhala-Buddhist peasantry. Anti-Tamil sentiment is ingrained into the Sinhala-Buddhist psyche via the Mahavamsa, the media, school textbooks, and leading Buddhist monks.

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      Saddam Hussein too restored Arab dignity. Many megalomaniacs also do some good. That doesn’t make them good. But again, nice attempt to defend Hitler, Untersturmfuhrer Nihal :D

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    I think ganging up on Comrade Dr Dayan Jayatilleka is unwarranted. The LTTE movement turned itself into a fascist organisation and did not adopt any democratic values or pluralism which led to its eventual downfall.

    M.R. Narayanswamy is a subject matter expert on the LTTE and other Tamil liberation struggle revolutionary groups having written books and numerous publications.

    Both Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka and M.R. were close friends of my late father Shankar Rajee of EROS until his demise in 2005. You may wish to refer to M.R. Narayanswamy’s books “Tigers of Lanka” – from boys to guerrillas”, “Inside and Elusive Mind” and “A Tiger Vanquished”.

    EROS and the EPRLF were founded on the basis of Marxist/Leninist theology and Comrade Jayatilleka has quite rightly pointed the variation between the EPRLF and the LTTE being fascist which is based on actual facts.

    The day the LTTE transformed itself from a guerilla movement transitioning into a mini army with similar organisational structures and units within it, this transition marked the beginning of the end of the LTTE.

    The day the LTTE targeted TELO cadres in 1986 and butchered them in their camp including the cold blooded assassination of comrade Pathmanabha of the EPRLF and others in 1990 at the Power Apartments, Kodampakkam, Chennai marked the beginning of the end of the Tamil liberation struggle. I was only 10 years of age when that incident happened living in Kodampakkam with my father and this is something I will never get over…

    Like our founding Godfather Eliyathamby Ratnasabapathy (Ratna) often said (translated from Tamil) that “the LTTE would destroy themselves and Prabhakaran would be its own worst enemy and lead to its downfall” way back in the early 80’s. Invariably his prophecy was true to his words…

    Sri Lanka is built up with two distinct nationalities Tamil and Sinhala and this is based on historical fact. In the age of globalisation we have to learn to live with one another harmoniously. We cannot divide our country and must work towards achieving a just political settlement that meets the aspirations of all communities living in Sri Lanka.

    As India puts emphasis in “unity in diversity”, I think we should follow suit.

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    ‘Ganging up’ on Dayan is warranted because he is just a total manipulator of words and a tremendous hypocrite at that. As much as GL and oters, he too is liable for the crushing of Sri lankan democracy by MR. He cannot wash his hands of this.

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    Fascist or not, does the label really matter? A rose by any other name.. etc.
    One thing we may all agree on, I hope, is our good intentions and sincerity towards the people of Sri Lanka.
    What influential, intelligent and well-meaning men and women of Dyan’s ilk should be doing, is to find from amongst their number a Mandela or a Gandhi who can lead us out of the mire.
    All this academic nonsense is little more than cerebral finger-pointing.

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