By Rehan Fernando –
The title of this article looks like a complicated and sophisticated issue, but it is not, because the title is on the stage at times while it also exists behind the screen. A careful study of Prabha’s terrorism (as the majority of Sinhalese name it) would reveal some positive facts compared to the terrorism and nationalism that is being promoted by the so-called president Ranil Wickremesinghe. Here comes a question: What is the terrorism of Ranil? Or is he a terrorist? Answering these questions in the case of this discussion rely on the primary arguments. Therefore, this article aims to begin a constructive discussion among people.
Reading between the lines
At the very outset of this sub-topic, it is apt to see through one essential explanation of Dr. Jude Lal Fernando, a senior lecturer from Trinity College, Dublin. He mentions in this regard “During the 20-year war in Sri Lanka between 1983-2002 the Tamil national leadership built their state in the North and East of the island, which is called Tamil Eelam with the people’s power, both local and diaspora. It is like North Korea building its state under the Juje philosophy. The Tamil state was a secular state, not a religious state like the Sinhala Buddhist Sri Lankan state. It was not anti-religious like in France or the former USSR. It was religiously pluralist and respected the humanist versions of every religion and opposed fundamentalist versions of religions. It had military, political and civic administrations like any other state, but free of corruption and malpractices. It had very progressive social reforms like gender equality. This state was becoming stronger, and the Sri Lankan state and its society were becoming weaker even though it was backed by the major powers in the world. The Sri Lankan state lost many areas to the LTTE and lost many of its soldiers. Its economy was becoming weaker. The Sinhala people were becoming tired of war. In 2000 and 2001, the LTTE declared unilateral ceasefires demanding political negotiations, but the Sri Lankan state continued to wage its war and lost many soldiers. By 2002 due to the military balance of power between the two parties there came a ceasefire and a peace process.” Since I have worked in many parts of the Northern part of Sri Lanka, I have seen how Prabha began his struggle to face the crisis of Tamil civilians. I am not here to justify what he did, but I would still take one minute to admire his gesture on behalf of Tamil civilians at the beginning of his thought. Considering Jude’s argument, I think, we need a contextual rereading for us to reconcile with one another and learn some better qualities of a state.
When the central government blows its trumpet to sing its nationalism and Buddhist-Sinhala superpower structure instead of our beautiful national anthem, I don’t think a Tamil civilian like Prabhakaran would ever observe silence. How about if the Sinhalese had gone through such an immense violent era? Then, there would have been thousands of “Ghanasara Buddhist monks” to run the game.
A motherland without a title
In 2010, Manjula Wediwardena, a great Sri Lankan poet of our time wrote a poetry book titled “මාතෘකාවක් නැති මාතෘ භූමිය හෙවත් දෙමළ කවි.”The book primarily speaks about how we have lost a sense of true unity since we opted for a civil war in killing innocents, especially Tamil civilians. It also reveals the buried truth of innocent Tamil civilians and some unrevealed stories of men and women. My argument does not fall in line with Wediwardena’s piece of writing but with the content of his title. He nailed it at the right point. Sri Lanka is a country without a proper title; in other words, Sri Lanka will never achieve any type of peace and harmony for it struggles with burning issues and events every decade.
Ranil Wickramesinghe is a key political leader who has been caught in such a notorious process. Ranil plays a game as a cunning fox. His purpose is not to serve the country but to remain in dirty power. For such a mechanism, he would do/play any type of dirty political game as he is playing the same type of role at present. Ranil does not have a proper vision and a title for his chapter in the field of Sri Lankan political history. He either uses men to bark as dogs or he barks like a dog. Isn’t it a stupid sense of political game? Where can we find genuine people like Dudley Senanayake or Mr. Wijayananda Dahanayaka? Isn’t it a crisis for the whole nation?
The only solution to the crisis in this country is a village-level effort. Prabhakaran and his team had done such community works at the beginning of their movement. Instance, the farmers were given bank loans for their cultivation and no burdens put on their shoulders in paying back their loans. They also promoted home-garden methods among ordinary Tamil civilians while providing necessary things freely. This is only a tiny example that I provide in the field of agriculture. Also, I have come across many Tamil civilians who talked about the basic security provided by the LTTE movement.
Therefore, I would call Ranil’s defense mechanism of dirty politics a process of terrorism that is dangerous and violent more than Prabha and his movement. Ranil’s dirty political desires are very threatening to the ordinary civil societies in the country. He is peacefully riding a dirty political boat on innocent blood. He is a man for division, but not for unity. Such a diplomatic man cannot dream of a balanced society with good ideologies. And, he has been well trained to move by some other dirty political waves.
If Prabhakaran had been here in the country, I would have surely gone through a negotiation to work for a peaceful state though Prabhakaran had no proper educational background. Yet, I would never negotiate with Ranil whose educated foolishness has ruined this country.
The Tamil word தலைவர்(leader) is quite suitable for Prabhakaran though we cannot accept some of his approaches to the ethnic issue of this country. In my opinion, however, Prabha is much better than Ranil whose leadership has paralyzed the whole structural body of this country. We would have surely opted for a developed country if Prabha had been the leader of this land. Instead of being superfluously victorious with war victory, I would still ask: why did Sinhalese kill Velupillai Prabhakaran?
 NCCK Interview with Professor Jude Lal Fernando – Freedom, Dignity and Asia (freedomasia.org), Accessed on 26th October 2022.
 මංජුල වෙඩිවර්ධන, මාතෘකාවක් නැති මාතෘ භූමිය හෙවත් දෙමළ කවි (ශ්රී ලංකාව: සූරිය ප්රකාශකයෝ, 2010).
 It was Prabhakaran who gave this title in 2005 as he was addressing a gathering on Mahaveerar Naal (Great Heroes Day).