By Meena Kandasamy –
Marx begins his Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, modifying Hegel’s assertion that history always happens twice, by adding that it occurs “once as tragedy, and again as farce”. First, the tragedy.
On April 27, 2009, in the absurd theatre of parliamentary electoral politics, M. Karunanidhi mercilessly wagered the lives of more than a hundred thousand Eelam Tamils facing imminent genocide by embarking on what must have been a historic act of protest—an ‘indefinite’ hunger strike, strategically timed between breakfast and lunch. And then he declared, just as dramatically, that he was giving up his fast having received an assurance from P. Chidambaram that Colombo had declared a cessation of hostilities. Even as this readymade propaganda was being disseminated, bombs continued to rain in the Vanni. Mullivaiykkaal, the tiny sliver of beach that became the last refuge of the Eelam Tamil people, turned into a mass grave. In the ensuing days, Karunanidhi kept himself occupied by exercising his literary talents in letters to the prime minister. While the Sri Lankan state went about its action plan of wiping out Tamils, India went about its business as usual. The general elections were held. Parties, waving their manifestos, partied. Anywhere between 40,000 and 1,00,000 Eelam Tamils were killed, but the Congress-led UPA combine was back in power. Even the DMK did not suffer a major setback. Karunanidhi proved his mettle as playwright, co-authoring a tragedy with the Rajapakse Brothers & Imperialist Powers, becoming an accomplice to the genocide of Eelam Tamils.
Now, the farce. After nine years of mollycoddling the Congress, Karunanidhi seizes an opportune moment to demand that New Delhi act on the Eelam Tamils issue, cites his problems with the diluted draft of the UN resolution on Sri Lanka, talks of being let down, and after the necessary formalities, pulls out. Perhaps, he believes this withdrawal will whitewash his culpability and redeem him for the next round of elections.
Notwithstanding the fact that the DMK drama lacks credibility, there can be no doubt that every subsequent draft of the US-backed resolution at the UNHRC has been a shadow of its former self. Documents are seldom known to have undertaken self-destruct and suicide missions, yet such a mystery shrouds the various versions of the Sri Lanka resolution and suggests an Indian hand. There is no mention of “an independent and credible international investigation” as mandated by the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, expressions of concern over the “failure” of devolution of powers have disappeared, “encourages” has become the new polite form for “urges”, and the dumbing down has ensured that “unfettered access” to special rapporteurs becomes “extending invitations”. G-for-Genocide is never mentioned.
Sri Lanka’s spectacular record at the UN owes much to the island’s practice of giving alleged war criminals the additional charge of diplomacy and deliberate distortion so that truth does not see the light of day. Look at the line-up and the concomitant celebration of ruthless slaughter: Major General Jagath Dias has been appointed vice-ambassador to Germany for humanitarian service rendered in bombing hospitals in the Vanni. Major General Shavendra Silva became Sri Lanka’s deputy permanent representative to the UN for his gallant act of having shot dead Tamil Tigers surrendering with white flags. Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe has been appointed ambassador to Australia for shelling into No Fire Zones.
In May 2009, when Switzerland and the European Union member states sought to table a resolution at an emergency meeting of the UNHRC to take stock of human rights violations in the final days of the war, Colombo’s envoy ranted against “western colonisers” and reminded everybody that “the only enemy of Sri Lanka was the one within its borders”. The Sri Lankan state pre-empted that move by introducing a self-congratulatory resolution praising the government for its promotion of human rights.
On the other hand, India is glad with the tourists, the trade in tea and the house-building tenders coming its way, and its only complaint is that its enemies too are the ones within its borders—enemies who speak Tamil, enemies who remind New Delhi of its complicity in the genocide, enemies who take to the streets, enemies who threaten the sovereignty of the Indian nation at the drop of a dhoti. Mother India is ashamed of Tamil antics, she consoles herself that curfews and closure of colleges are the only cures, and hopes that no one in the meanwhile discusses the Kashmiri skeletons in her closet. She is unwilling to accept that the North and East of the island of Sri Lanka is a Tamil homeland, she refuses to look upon Eelam Tamils as a nation with its own territory, she does not dare to change her foreign policy decision on self-determination of the Eelam Tamils and she doesn’t have the patience to expect a political settlement from both the Tamil and Sinhala sides. She lacks political conviction, she sheds no tears for the dead, she seeks no justice for the aggrieved. Instead, she leans on Uncle Sam’s shoulder and watches the proceedings with wide-eyed wonder. Her people, like people around the world, know that it is not easy to humiliate power.Justice in this unipolar world revolves around the UN and the imperialist powers that it serves. Even though the Eelam Tamils have historical sovereignty and earned sovereignty, if they believe that separation alone can guarantee them safety, their last recourse to save themselves from complete extermination is to stake a claim to remedial sovereignty before the UN.Contrary to their expectations of justice and a permanent political settlement, both last year’s resolution and this year’s draft push for an implementation of the recommendations suggested by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’s (LLRC) Report. Eelam Tamils have responded to the LLRC with caution–some term it a mockery of justice where Rajapakse is both the culprit and the judge, while others have pointed out that the LLRC report provides a dangerous blueprint for structural and cultural genocide of Eelam Tamils. Such alarm is not unjustified: the LLRC report calls for a trilingual nation by 2020, it insists that no district or province be categorised on the basis of language, and it categorically denies the existence of a historical Tamil homeland in the North and East of the island. Carrying out the diktats of such a document will only annihilate the genuine aspirations and right to self-determination of the Eelam Tamils.
There is enough evidence to suggest that the UN has erred in its treatment of this issue. In the post-2009 scenario, the UN has admitted its failure in three of its own reports. The Dublin War Crimes Tribunal Report and Norway’s own report examining the role it played in the peace process should also be taken into consideration to evaluate the UN position. When elected politicians and foreign policy diplomats are satisfied with toothless paper tigers like the present UN resolution, and their prejudice makes them unwilling to explore the possibility of bringing this issue before the UN Security Council, only people’s power could bring about an attitudinal change. The massive protests in Tamil Nadu signal a new chapter in this radical struggle.
Courtesy Out Look India
Maamanithar / March 24, 2013
I love the heading that covers a vast area !!
Ben Hurling / March 24, 2013
“Well , India has its own sovereign interest. The Tamils of Elam want India to midwife the division of Sri Lanka , it’s their call , India is not bound by their understanding…the problem is India shud state it’s case more confidently. U r asking intervention on behalf of Tamils and BJP is asking for intervention on behalf of Hindus in Bangladesh. So , can u just enlighten us on what India shud do ….become a professional mid wife . It will be a lot better that u advise the Tamils in Sri Lanka to align their struggles with the progressive and secular forces in srilanka , rather than blaming India ….teach them to fight without arms.” – Vivian Shankar, An Indian commenting on Meena’s rant.
Native Vedda / March 25, 2013
What India wants and India should do are two different things.
What India wants is Akand Bharat.
What India should do is up to the South Block Chanakias.
jansee / March 25, 2013
This Vivian Shankar whom you have quoted is not a professed authority in the SL Tamils problems. There are divergent views and Meena expressed hers.
It is salutary though to draw attention for the SL Tamils to seeek support progressive and secular forces in SL and I believe this has been happening. But one should not forget the immense pressure that these moderates face within SL. They have been branded traitors, Ministers have gone on record to have said – break the limbs of traitors and have not been reprimanded by the regime, disappearances, murders (Lasantha), etc. What more when the regime is behind all these. Now, it has taken a more sinister stand – even the CJ had been unceremoniously dumped by sheer muscle power. Again, it is not that India has not tried diplomatically to persuade SL to deliver on its own promises. What can you do with a regime which lives and breathes lies. You cannot defend a regime of being forced when it only believes in that – force in all forms to achieve its cynical targets. So, in this, I am in total agreement with Meena.
Safa / March 24, 2013
The reason for Karunanidhis sudden change is not clear. Is it due to the ground swell of public opinion in TN? If it is a hardening of opinion in TN against Sri Lanka, then it signals a new chapter in the raltionship as stated by the author.
Periyar E. V. Ramasamy / March 24, 2013
Another Copy and PAste Job by another EElam pro LTTE Tamil nadu so called self styled poet.. or and activist.. She once said that the Government didn’t get any Tamil votes from the North.. Whilst Jaffna Back then voted. Whilst the LTTE held parts could not vote as the LTTE in its many Humanitarian edicts announced if anyone Voted for Mr Ranil they will be Delt with a Traitors death..A notice also published by the Many LTTE Information centers in the western capitals.. as The LTTE feared the Fox Ranil might come to power. How these Tamil nadu poets love to manipulate that poetry for propaganda. So one cannot Trust let alone verify this latest poetry.. but can see the same old script issued by the LTTE london office
Ajay / March 24, 2013
You are the paper tiger. You’re a failed writer with mediocre talents looking desperately for a cause to become famous. You decided to champion the cause of the defeated but still economically resourceful LTTE rump in their campaign to derail the process of reconciliation after the war in Sri Lanka so that they can continue their destructive politics. You must be ashamed of yourself for you are only bringing more suffering to the Tamil people in Sri Lanka who are desperate to enjoy the peace dividends and to seek reconciliation through a solution acceptable to all communities in a united and pluralist Sri Lanka.
You are echoing in your writing the exact ideology and strategy the LTTE rump is pursuing to achieve diplomatically what it couldn’t achieve militarily. Tamil people have had enough of the LTTE and please leave them alone. The Tigers killed tens of thousands of their own people in the pursuit of an ethnically cleansed Tamil fascist state. And now the LTTE is carrying on a vicious campaign of disinformation and hate propaganda against Sri Lanka in order to achieve the same despicable goal. Your take on the Geneva debacle adheres so closely to the official propaganda line of the LTTE that it casts doubts about your sincerity in talking about the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
The LTTE was looking for gogetters like you to add a veneer of respectability to their sinister campaign to arouse the base emotions of the ignorant and poor in Tamil Nadu. Only the thrill seeking students, the self-immolating lunatic fringe, Tamil racists and the despicable Tamil Nadu political leaders have gone down to such low levels – but not the majority of decent, rational people of Tamil Nadu. You are no better than Karunanithy, New Delhi politicians and the human rights hucksters in Geneva that you attack.
By becoming the latest poster girl for LTTE, the deadliest fascists in recent history, your work on caste annihilation, linguistic identity and feminism have lost all their credibility. Shame on you!
jansee / March 25, 2013
So, once the great Ajay says something, it has become God’s will. Just like the frustrated and angry SL regime and its lackeys, they will continue with noises, just to please the ignorant masses in SL. Just 3 days after the resolution in Geneva, the regime says it will meet the deadlines imposed in the resolution. Stop being a fool. I don’t have to write or do anything to defend Meena. She is very capable of doing that. Your frustration is that you cannot do what you did to Lasantha Wickramatunga and Prageeth Eknaligoda. Your tantrums are not going to make even an iota of difference in pursuing the war crimes issue. And she is right – the US and even India has been helping SL to keep these issues within a domestic orbit but I don’t think so this charade can continue and I believe the US too now senses that it cannot continue on this slippery slope anymore unless SL mends its ways – the US now says that the request for INTERNATIONAL independent investigations could become a reality if SL continues its recalcitrant attitude – and one of that would be to stop listening to duds like you.
douglas / March 24, 2013
Meena : A very kind and a friendly request to you and all those in the Diaspora who are still lobbying for this “elusive” homeland for Tamils: PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THE TAMILS PRESENTLY LIVING IN SRI LANKA. THEY ARE MUCH, MUCH BETTER OFF ECONOMICALLY AND SOCIALLY THAN THEY WERE SOME DECADES AGO. Your cry and writings make them miserable and unhappy, because you disturb and harass them unceasingly depriving them of “regaining” their lost freedom and “right” to live a peaceful life.
In simple language, they, the Tamils in Sri Lanka do “NOT” want again to be a “herd of cattle” to be moved on the “orders” of a “megalomaniac”. Though you all conveniently and deliberately “forget” the past, the Tamils presently living in Sri Lanka have not forgotten that “dirty” past. So, Dear, BACK OFF.
Leon / March 24, 2013
Excellent article Thank You Meena. Keep writing what other morons say.
Dubdoc / March 24, 2013
You quote “Major General Shavendra Silva became Sri Lanka’s deputy permanent representative to the UN for his gallant act of having shot dead Tamil Tigers surrendering with white flags.”
Well my lady did you witness this?
These allegations are based on mainly hearsay. Aren’t they? What happened at the last few days of the war is not yet clear.All are allegations from both sides.I would have expected you to show better media professionalism before writing.
Then you quote,
“Even though the Eelam Tamils have historical sovereignty and earned sovereignty, if they believe that separation alone can guarantee them safety, their last recourse to save themselves from complete extermination is to stake a claim to remedial sovereignty before the UN.”
What about the Tamils living outside north and north east.Will the creation of Ealam will safe guard them? Will they leave the areas they have settled for many years to be in the dreamland?
Do you know that there are many Medical consultant posts available in North and North east right now. I mean right now! We have not seen a competition to fill these places.In fact the opposite is happening. Sinhala consultants have to fill these places while Tamil specialists are competing for places in Colombo.
Please visit Sri Lanka first before commenting. Our Tamil brethren had enough manipulation by various sectors.Majority of them are happy to live in a unitary state. They have the right to live anywhere they want and many of them are already doing it.
TAMIL NESAN / March 24, 2013
Meena Kandasamy and others in TN:
I have only a short message for you :
LEAVE US ALONE
TAMILS AGAINST TAMIL ETHNO FASCISM / March 25, 2013
Please leave the Sri Lankan Tamils alone.
Instead fight against caste oppression, oppression of women including widespread rape, female infanticide, child marriage, poverty, illiteracy, lack of sanitation and political corruption in Tamil Nadu.
Native Vedda / March 25, 2013
TAMILS AGAINST TAMIL ETHNO FASCISM
“Please leave the Sri Lankan Tamils alone.”
Subramaniam Swamy a Tamil from Tamilnadu is fighting for his Sinhala brethren. He said repeatedly that Sinhalese are also his people.
If you have Swamy and many others fighting for Sinhalese why not Kandasamy voices her concerns for Tamils?
My only problem is Swamy and Kandasamy aren’t working on a reasonable pace withdrawal of their Sinhala/Tamil brethren from Sri Lanka if they feel strongly about their respective people in Sri Lanka.
Punchilamani / March 25, 2013
THe chhanakayan Brahmin Subramania Swamy is a well known Muslim hater deployed by the Sihala/fascist elements to brow beat the non-brahmin tamils. he loves to be a super brahmin!
saradiel / March 25, 2013
Meenaaaaaa…. how much you earn for your troubles, darling ??
Native Vedda / March 26, 2013
I suppose less than Sura Saradiel earned from highway robbery.
Aney Apochchi! / March 26, 2013
Thank you for telling it like it is.
To the morons who continue to produce their usual drivel: go look in the mirror if you want stupid viciousness personified!