By Dayan Jayatilleka –
Was the LTTE fascist? Certainly not according to Comrade Surendra Ajith Rupesinghe, who considers it a “political organization that represented the national-democratic aspirations of a nation”. If the Tigers were representative of a national–democratic aspiration of any nation, it sure doesn’t speak much for that nation.
Unfortunately for the good comrade, the fascist character of the Tigers is no longer a matter of speculation or theoretical argumentation. There is first hand evidence of the explicitly fascist nature of the organization, which turns out to have been not merely fascist in a generic sense, but explicitly Hitlerian and Nazi, from its genesis and in its very DNA.
I refer to the testimonies of two founder members of the LTTE, the Tigers first treasurer Ganeshan Iyer and a respected militant, Raghavan. Let us commence with Ganeshan Iyer:
“…Prabhaharan’s personality was adapted by the military regulations and the victories of Hitler; therefore he opted to implement the military discipline into the training of LTTE. He claims that the military of Hitler secures victory due to its formation and determination.
All who were trained for the first time ordered to salute as in the discipline of Hitler’s military. Since Prabaharan respected the formation and determination of Hitler’s military, he had liked that to be duplicated in the Tamil Eelam army and I did not reject it.
During this period only, the waves of opposition against Prabhakaran surfaced. Some members of LTTE argued that the salute of Hitler was unnecessary and Prabharan counter argued them. He claims that if a proper army formation is wanted, relevant algorithm should also be there. He argues that the beginning for a proper military formation is the system of Hitler. Especially Kumanan, who was later killed by the LTTE was against this. When he also participated in the planning discussions on the military training camp, this debate occurred. At the end of it, Hitler’s system was accepted and practiced based on the presentation of Prabhakaran.
…The leading members such as, Kittu, Sellakkili, Santhan, John, Chithappa, Kumarappa, Maathaiya were invited to the training camp. Prabhakaran provided training. Prabhakaran was saluted according to Hitler’s way as scheduled.
…. Prabhakaran: since Thuraiyappa’s assassination he was like a hero to all of us, and he joined the struggle from the age of 17. Prabhakaran‘s opinion was to struggle without any continuous waiving and surrender and he did not think beyond pure military tactics. He reads on Subash Chandrabose and Vaanchinathan and had more sympathy over them. He had great respect on Hitler. This strange mixture did not have any political background. The reason was that all three of them reached victory through military tactics.”
(‘My entries on Eelam struggle’, part 14, Ganeshan Iyer, http://inioru.com/?p=12399)
Now for the corroborative testimony of Raghavan, who joined the Tamil New Tigers in 1974, the LTTE at its founding in 1976 and quit the outfit in 1984:
“…Thangathurai was pro-US and pro-Israel. Prabhakaran was also of the same mindset but he was also, strangely, inspired by Hitler. He had with him a copy of ‘Mein Kampf’. He also was inspired by Bhagat Singh and Subash Chandra Bose. It was a strange combination. On the one hand, I think he had ideas about Jewishness, the state and the formation of Israel. On the other hand, the idea of eliminating the “other” came from Hitler. There was a connection in his mind….”
(‘RAGHAVAN, LTTE’s co-founder with Prabha, tells all’, interview by Ahilan Kadirgamar, Nitharsanam.net)
Surendra Ajith Rupesinghe demonises a ‘war of annihilation’. A war of annihilation is a bad thing depending on who and what one wishes to annihilate. If one intentionally aims to annihilate a nation or a people or innocent non-combatant civilians, it is a ghastly crime against humanity.
On the other hand it was no less a Marxist-Leninist, communist and revolutionary than general Vo Nguyen Giap who in his military writings, repeatedly stressed that the object of military strategy must be ‘the annihilation of the living forces of the enemy’, that is of the enemy as a military force.
Well before Mahinda Rajapaksa was even a cabinet Minister I had advocated, in an interview given to DP Sivaram in the North-East Herald, and in my first book published in Delhi, that the aim of the Sri Lankan state should not be to use military means to drive the LTTE to the negotiating table, but precisely to ‘annihilate the living forces of the enemy’; to win the war by smashing the LTTE as a military machine.
I simultaneously advocated as clean a war as feasible and a parallel track of the devolution of power by implementing the 13th amendment. I stand by those positions and that line, which I am glad to have seen coming to fruition in its military aspect.
If an enemy is fascist, it is all the more valid that the war against it should be one aimed at ‘the annihilation of the living forces of the enemy’, with the enemy defined, not as the unarmed, non-combatant civilian population, but as the fascist armed forces. For instance the war of annihilation of the forces of fascism waged by the Allies hardly resulted in the annihilation of the German nation!
Theoretical Sophistry, Political Sycophancy And Craven Careerist Apologetics Of Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka Continued ; By Surendra Ajit Rupasinghe
FASCISM, SOVEREIGNTY AND THE TRUTH ABOUT THE TAMIL STRUGGLE ; By Dayan Jayatilleka
The Theoretical Sophistries And Political Sycophancy of H.E. Ambassador Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka ; By Surendra Ajit Rupasinghe