By Thambu Kanagasabai –
The 2015 Presidential election dealt a deadly blow to Rajapaksa’s ambition of serving as a life term President a long with his family members controlling the destiny of Sri Lanka. His faith in astrology took a battering with even Thiruppathi Venkateswarar letting him down. Now he is silently plotting seeking an escape route to avoid the impending inquiries, accusations of bribery and corruption, not to mention the UN’s possible probe after the publication of its report in September 2015.
Eelam Tamils rightly and correctly gave a knockout punch to Rajapaksa family’s decimation. Tamils felt a sense of relief and fulfillment for his defeat, though the miseries they suffered from his hands lie with no healings. The defeat of Mahinda does not mean an endorsement of Maithiri who is just another side of the same coin. Maithiri served loyally under Rajapaksa, even conducting the final phase of the genocidal war during the absence of Rajabaksa. His hands are also equally tainted due to his complicity in the commission of genocidal crimes in the 2009 war.
Maithiri is a subtle executioner of war agenda, a man with a deceptively pleasing face and smile, a President who has so far not uttered a word about the Tamils problems not to mention any of his thoughts as to any solution excepting a mention of LLRC recommendations. It will be therefore foolhardy and naïve for Tamils to expect any acceptable political settlement proposals from Maithiri.
To make the matters worse and compound the problems, Maithiri’s election allies are no better whose chauvinistic thinking and approach to the problems of Tamils goes hand in hand with Maithiri’s thinking. Viz: General Sarath Fonseka, Champika Ranawaka, Chandrika and Ranil.
Maithiri reinforced his support for his brethren by publicly stating that Rajabaksa or any other Security or State officials involved in the genocidal crimes will be protected from any international indictments, inquiries or trials. This defying blunt statement is nothing but a stark contempt and disrespect and even challenging the UN, HRC and their Commissions stature and functions.
Inevitably, Maithiri’s hands of protection further extend to his companions as well as to himself. In this context, his statement that his Govt will conduct its own internal inquiry with his selected Commissioners is nothing but a travesty and insult to the cardinal principles of justice as the commission will assume the role of investigators investigating their masters’ war crimes. It will be futile to expect any impartial justice except eye washing trials where some junior security personnel could be hauled up and punished as scape goats to cover up the actual perpetrators and main actors.
It can be stated that US. UN and the world community are again lulled into a sense of false belief and hope which is nothing but surrealistic. There is no denying of the fact that Maithiri’s Govt has opened up a charming diplomatic damage control offensive targeting USA, UK, UN and European Union. It appears Sri Lanka has so far succeeded in these efforts by postponing the submitting of UN Commission’s Report on war crimes etc until September 2015. Hand in hand, Sri Lankan Govts’ belligerent moves towards China, a Rajapaksa’s close ally, has warmed the hearts of the West particularly USA and India thereby relegating the Tamils’ cries for justice to the back stage. The stark truth is Eelam Tamils’ ethnic problem and the genocidal crimes are exploited to rein in Sri Lanka and to bring it under their orbit and influence.
The reality is Eelam Tamils have no permanent friends but only friends for acquiring benefits. China though disappointed and irritated with Mainthiri’s Govt will only play a waiting game opting for silent diplomatic moves to maintain its close ties with Sri Lanka. As such one man’s poison is another man’s meat position will not apply for the Eelam Tamils. Any hope for the Security Council acting on the UN Commission’s findings due in September 2015 has also evaporated due to the shifting stands by US and the West, who will certainly block any punitive actions against Sri Lanka based on the findings.
The stark reality is Eelam Tamils are back to square one situation at the mercy of Sri Lankan Govt whose agenda of Buddhisitation and Sinhalasisation will quietly and subtly proceed unhindered unless and until the Tamil population unitedly rise to stop the genocidal program. Mahinda himself has confirmed this position when he said after the defeat that “Tamils will not be better off by defeating me and nothing will change as far as Tamils are concerned”.
In this prevailing murky scenario, TNA, the Tamils only representatives appear to be sailing without direction and are also clueless as to what sort of political steps or agitations should be taken to salvage the Tamils from extinction Various plans, ideas and conflicting stands are emerging from the TNA’s top brass, some of beach is as follows.
1) TNA leader Sampanthan is still trusting and hoping for deliverance from Maithiri. He and his confidante Sumanthiran attended the Independence Day celebration of the Sinhala Govt as a sop which Northern Provincial Council’s Chief Minister Wigneswaran rightly and boldly boycotted.
2) Thamil Arasu Party’s Chairman Mavai Senathiraja in October 2014 declared that Satyagraha Campaigns would be launched in North and East in January 2015. So far there is no sign of any move towards this agitation.
3) Chief Minister Wigneswaran has forthrightly and befitting his past position as a Supreme Court judge adopted the overdue resolution accusing all the Sri-Lankan Govts of committing Genocide under an agenda initiated in 1948. This is a historical and brave resolution which has put Sri-Lanka and causing unease to the TNA’s leader ship who still trust he the Sri- Lanka’s entrenched policy of promise and betrayal which has been in effect from 1923.
4) TNA has almost distanced away from taking political actions to remove the Sinhala Army and Camps from the North and East, to obtain the languishing Tamil political prisoners, to obtain the statistics and details of those who disappeared (about 90 000) and those killed about 100,000, to obtain suitable compensations, to give back the lands illegally appropriated by the Security Forces, to resettle the displaced Tamils and allow them to live in their own lands.
If the TNA fails or neglects to give priority to the above steps, they will go down in the history as complicit let-downers in the political history of Tamils. The need of the hour for the TNA is the mobilization for mass agitations and propaganda campaigns in support of a referendum and self-determination as allowed in the UN Charter for an ethnic group, like Tamil’s.
The recent outburst of Ranil regarding Tamil Nadu fishermen encroaching Sri Lanka’s fishing zones shows his arrogant slap on the face of India. His statement has indirectly authorized the Sri Lankan Navy to shoot any Tamil Nadu fishermen who enters Sri-Lankan waters even if it results in death. Under any or international law, a person can only kill another person when and if his own life is imminently threatened with death. As far as Ranil is concerned he seems to believe in instant shooting justice like shooting someone who breaks the door or enters a house without permission even if it causes death. Under international law a violating fisherman can only be arrested and detailned for a just trial in the proper courts. Ranil’s outburst is solely aimed at creating hostility and enmity between the Indian Tamils and the Jaffna Tamil fishermen so as to create and foster a political chasm or divide between them who are closely bonded by a common language, religion, culture and traditions.
TNA’s Sumanthiran’s recent derailing and deviant moves and gestures towards Maithiri only reflect the thinking and behavior of Colombo based Tamil politicians as experienced in the past. It is high time TNA clarifies its stand for its own and Tamil’s survival including Tamils for his following actions.
1) His participation with Sampanthan in the Sinhala Independence day celebrations.
2) His statement of support to Maithiri’s internal investigation which is aiming to weaken and even weakening the functions of the UN Commissions’ investicaions
3) His appeal to British Tamil Forum not to stage demonstrations against Maithiri smacks of petty cheap pleasing of Maithiri.
It is left only to Maithiri as the President to show and prove his sincerity by taking acceptable political settlement proposals on his own determination and will undeterred by any Diaspora behavior. So far he has carried out only cosmic changes like appointing civil Governors but not touching the core problems of Tamils which undoubtedly as in the past will be kept alive and kicking for the sake of political power.