1 October, 2020

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“The Cat Is Out Of The Bag” – A Rejoinder To Kusal

By Pon. Chandran – 

Pon. Chandran

At the outset I and my friends in the Human Rights fraternity in India, particularly from PUCL acknowledge and express our profound gratitude and respects to Kusal Perera and Sunanda Deshapriya, the Sinhala Journalists, for exposing the diabolical design, at their life risks, behind camouflaging  the real numbers who were caught in the midst of War in Sri Lanka in January 2009.  Shri. Pranab Mukerjee, the then Foreign Minister declared that there were only 70,000 Srilankan Tamils who were caught in the midst of war, in the Vanni region, while the actual numbers were over 428,000. This exposed the genocidal design of the Sinhala regime to massacre thousands of Srilankan Tamils either using heavy artilleries or starving them to death by denying the much required food and medicines.

The humanitarian issue of such a massive magnitude was taken up with the Press and People in the Powers that matter, in Delhi, with the support of Kusal.  Had there  been a substantial intervention either from India or from the International Community, we could have saved at least 100,000 lives during the last phase of war in Sri Lanka. The UN’s  Internal Review Report of  Charles Petrie has confirmed that  the deliberately downsized numbers in the so called Safe Zones  entailed in the death of several thousands of civilians for want of adequate humanitarian assistance.  Also the actual numbers killed by shelling was under reported.  Again, it was Kusal who exposed the use of banned cluster and thermobaric bombs in the final stages of the war.

As human rights activists we unequivocally condemn the attack on the Buddhist monks in Tamil Nadu, which cannot be condoned whatever may be the provocation.  At the same time, we need to place on record that it is the hard core Buddhist clergy in Sri Lanka who fan Sinhala chauvinism and continue to spearhead the unfettered  Sinhalisation in the North and the East.  Of course, one has to differentiate between the people and the State. Hence, while the boycott of the Sri Lanka in the arena of sports, culture, tourism, economy and diplomacy (like relocation/boycott of CHOGM) is aimed to internationally ostracize Sri Lanka and prevail upon the Srilankan State to concede to the self determination and political devolution, which is inseparably bound with the larger democratisation of Srilanka.

The question of Genocide:

Now that the above is clarified, I am constrained to delve into more serious aspects of the stand  propounded by Kusal, which deserves to be debated.  I guess he is for the “Self Determination” of the Eelam Tamils, sans separation.  Perhaps for the same reason, he is against naming the massacre of Tamils as “genocide” and hence argues that the call for a “referendum” is irrelevant, impractical and unfounded.

His argument hinges on the main plank that since a big chunk of Tamils live relatively peacefully in the South of the island, it cannot be called as genocide against Tamils!  Further I wonder whether he is adducing a tacit argument  that the lives of the Tamils in the South will not be safe, if the concept of Separate Tamil Eelam is pushed, as a process of political devolution.

Going by the history of the struggle of the  Tamils in Sri Lanka for over six decades and the revealing evidences (documentary, audio and video) on the War against Tamils, it is vivid that the violence perpetrated is beyond war crimes and very much borders well within the purview of Genocidal War. It was a war against Eelam Tamils, with Genocidal intent.

The sheer numbers that were exterminated, during the last seven months of the racist war indicates the “intent to destroy in whole or in part” a race which has been subjected to brutal violence by  the State. It blatantly violates Art 2 & 3 of Geneva Convention on Genocide. (Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide dated 9th December 1948).

Thus the last phase of the racial war killed 146,679 civilians. Bodily and mental harm meted out against the Tamils rendered in the permanent disability of 16,356 Tamils. The protracted racial war created the sub-human conditions of life calculated to bring physical destruction in whole or in part depriving thousands of Tamils (282,380) in to the concentration camps. Rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war rendered several thousands of women sexually brutalised and traumatised. The racial war ended up with more than 89,000 young war widows. In fact these are the numbers collated from the ground and brought out by Journalist friends like Kusal and Bishop of Mannar and several other Human Rights groups.

More than the actual killing and the rest, the intent to commit genocide is obvious from the umpteen statements, during the unguarded moments, made by Mahinda, Gotabaya and Fonseka.  Gotabaya had admitted publicly that the Tamil North has been converted into “Free Fire Zone”.  He has also gone record proclaiming that let Sinhala army throw the Tamils in the Ocean and “enjoy the Tamil women”. Fonseka has reiterated more than once that “Sri Lanka belongs to the Sinhalese”.

It appears that Indian bureaucrats like Shivashankar Menon and M.K.Narayanan with the other officials in the Foreign ministry conspired with the Rajapakshes for the extermination of Tamils, under the guise of decimating the Tigers. The other hegemonic Powers including USA, China and Pakistan joined with others in the “war on terror”, which was used by the Rajapakshe regime for a genocidal war.   Perhaps none of them would have thought that the inevitable collateral damage in the “war on terror” would end up in such a colossal massacre of genocidal proportion.

Referendum – A means for Devolution:

Thanks to Kusal for bringing out succinctly the context and the ground realities in the case of East Timor and Southern Sudan, which facilitated the UN intervened referendum which led to the formation of a separate nation for East Timor and Southern Sudan.

The specific context which differentiated the post war Tamil Eelam from that of East Timor and South Sudan, as narrated by Kusal could be summed up as below:

a) The continued militant and strong political representation of the locals demanding self determination, including secession, at the time of referendum.

b) The unwillingness and the incapacity of the Ruling section in the respective countries, to continue with the Rule as before and hence had no choice but to give in.

Therefore, it is argued that as the situation in Sri Lanka is not comparable with that of South Sudan and East Timor, a similar referendum in Tamil Eelam can only remain a dream!

It may be noted that either the Tamil Diaspora or the students of Tamil Nadu who have been raising the demand for a Referendum is quoting the case of East Timor and South Sudan  only as a precedence in the International arena and not as THE BASIS.

It is true that Tamil Eelam is dwarfed without a de facto government which was in existence even while the genocidal war was on.  It is precisely for this reason that the international community should take the responsibility invoking the principle of R2P, the Responsibility to Protect. Nevertheless, it is obvious that, in the present oppressive political context, particularly in the backdrop of militarisation, the Tamil National Alliance or  other Tamil Representatives in the island are not articulating the  demand for a referendum today, perhaps tactically. The question of referendum will become a palpable demand only as a follow up of the findings of the International Investigation on the War Crimes and Genocide. But the demand for referendum raised by the Tamil diaspora, to keep the question of “self determination” and political devolution alive, is portrayed by Kusal as the one of ‘lamentation’ from the ‘Tamil fringe groups’, ‘political riffraff’ and by the ‘defeated human rights activists’ without any knowledge of political history either of the Tamil mainland or the Homeland of Eelam Tamils.

Further,  Kusal counter poses his argument  adducing that the ‘Eelamists’ and the ‘defeated human rights activists’ from Tamil Nadu have no locus standi to give a call for a “separate eelam” when the DMK has eschewed their earlier demand for “Dravida Nadu”.   The comparison deserves to be critiqued.  Dravida Nadu was only a socio-cultural concept against the post independence Brahmin-Baniya  hegemony.  It evolved as a political movement only among the people in Tamilnadu and not among the other nationalities which constituted the proposed Dravidasthan.  Hence unlike Pakistan, Dravidasthan was a non-starter. Moreover, the Tamil Nationalism nurtured by the Dravidian movement did not evolve into a movement of liberation as it capitulated with the centre, the gate way of imperialism.  Thus Nationality question today in the Indian sub-continent, which is a prison of various nationalities, is beyond the bourgeois democratic revolution.  It is with this understanding that the democratic movements and human rights movements in the sub-continent express solidarity with the Kashmiri question, Khalistan, and the nationality questions in the North-East.  Incidentally, the solidarity expressed by the Tamils in Tamil Nadu with the Eelam Tamils has reinforced the Tamil National question in Tamil Nadu, in the present context, as the Indian State is callous and indifferent towards the Eelam Tamil question.

On the question of Self Determination:

Kusal has elucidated the question of Self Determination drawing inspiration from Marxist literature on the question of the state and the people.  Yet another  crux of the Marxist perspective, which he did not refer to with regard to Self Determination, is the difference in approaches between the proletarian movement  that belong to the oppressor nation and with that of the oppressed nation.  While the stand of the proletarian movement   which belongs to the oppressed nation is to lend conditional support to the nationality question, the proletariat of the oppressor nation ought to lend unconditional support to the national self determination of the oppressed nation.

In the instant case, the people who champion the cause of democracy among the Sinhala nation have to support unconditionally the cause of Eelam Tamil nation. In view of the oppression unleashed on the Eelam Tamils by the successive governments, the Eelam Tamils have democratically asserted, as a nation, their self determination beginning from Vaddukottai Resolution and in the provincial elections one after another on the plank of independent Eelam.

It is well known that the young Eelam Tamils were constrained to resort to militant struggle to realise their call, as the Sinhala chauvinist regimes struck down their democratic voices, violently.  I guess this is the core of the A,B,C  of the politics of SL Tamils.  Instead of appreciating the long history and aspirations of the Eelam Tamils,  just highlighting the post war suppressed & feeble voice of the  Eelam Tamils, who seek political devolution with the perspective of 13th Amendment or Plus (which is categorically denied by the Ruling sections), as the core objective of SL Tamils is unwittingly misleading.  Interpreting this as the call for “better wages” vis-a-vis “Closure of the Factory” is naive.   It is unfortunate that Kusal who hails from a Marxist tradition has resorted to this.

There is lot more to share.  Thanks to Kusal, Paul and Colombo Telegraph for encouraging me to pen my concerns on some of the issues raised by my good friend Kusal.

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Latest comments

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    Thanks Chandran, I have similar views to express to Kusal but dropped the idea because he is pretending to sleep and we cannot wake up such people. Without referendum, his point of Tamils loving to stay with Sinhalese is totally out of sense. Moreover his comparison of Khalistan, Dravida naadu, wnd even sudan, Timor are totally on flawed understanding and deserves no attention to answer him. Let us focus on the people who are in need and peace.

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    I think that Tamils should have an independent State in Sri Lanka and yet I also think that this an obsession and will never realize. Why? Tamils mix up human rights, genocide and their aspirations. Now it is all about respect of human lives, of independent investigation. Fantastic. But it is so obvious that the Tamil leadership is only seeking this as last weapon after military defeat. The LTTE was a criminal outfit, responsible for the 2009 massacre with the Sri Lankan government. Are you ready to give up the Prabhakaran myth? Are you ready to acknowledge mistakes from the past? Most of all, are you ready now to champion human rights even when the offenders are Tamil?
    Clearly not, you mention the assaults on Buddhist bikkhu. Between the lines you are linking a moral responsibility of the Buddhist clergy. Very dangerous. We all know the role of the Buddhist extremist, but your way of presenting it is dangerous. Don’t you think that such moral responsibility can be applied to the LTTE and the Tamil people as well?

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      Are LTTE still alive? They are buried.. and dont mix every human rights violation of a irresponsible state with LTTE issue? What mistakes these Tamil did? It was british who annexed the tradtional tamils land and you can neither rule as a sovereigen and caused all havoc and now speaking of double standards when others interfere and pinpoint your criminal mindset and system? I remind in 1950-1980 there was no LTTE and what were your GOSL doing? They flamed hatredness? Will you hold that GOSL responsible and punish Sinhala now? By the same token you cannot punish Tamils now for the buried LTTE.

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      “Are you ready to acknowledge mistakes from the past? Most of all, are you ready now to champion human rights even when the offenders are Tamil?
      Clearly not.

      You are indeed a useless editor. Asking a question and then answering it yourself.

      Anyway, the consistent approach to what happened during those last days at Mullaivaikkal has been to cite both the SL regime and the LTTE for their share of crimes. What an ostrich head you have?

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        Ok if both share crimes, LTTE is eliminated, and set-up international enquiry to find out who is culprit. Let us all know the truth for the sake of truth alone.

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          How? Are you dialling ltte beyond the grave ? Grow up..

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            Watcher, You have no brain, What I asked if LTTE is alive you can ask punishing them, how you do it? What I am referring the other criminals who did genocide.

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              msk:

              You mean Karuna, Pillaiyan and KP? I am for it.

  • 0
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    Lets create in Tamil Nadu – we are better appreciated there.

    Look Karunanidhi and Jayalalith will give us everything we want… plus US will help too

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      Hope you can return in one piece? Look at Sarath Fonseka who called the Tamilnadu politicians as jokers. Sorry that he became the butt of jokes by his own regime. Just beware.

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    Excellent work Chandran. Please keep on writing to tell the truth and educate the world. Hopefully we Tamils and all srilankans will get justice soon.

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    The idea of comparing situations in Timor and Sudan will not be correct,as the happening on the ground, even today points to acts of Genocide,apart from HR issues. Precedence is not required to go into
    SL acts of genocide, as mcuh as Adam & Eve did not follow precedence!

    The action on dual-citizenship, as 95% of the 4000 pending cases are
    of Tamils and to deny them of what was provided in the Citizenship
    Act of 1948 is simply structured genocide. The call to the diaspora
    to Invest in the North/East will never occur as long as Gota is to act
    as a Gaddaffi, denying even the basic right to Investment along with
    right of dual-citizenship.
    The genocidal tendencies can also be seen in CEB making power-cuts on
    the basis of Tamil vs Sinhala areas, if this is true.

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    I have read Shri. Chandran’s article. I would not comment who is right and who is wrong. The question is what needs to be done to restore peace and dignity for the tamils in Srilanka. Debates can wait. In a war situation, no one remembers the geneva convention and fights. Human rights violation always happens. Innocents die for no mistake of theirs.

    International Community should intervene and restore peace in the island. Let peace dawn on the island. Let there be peace in the minds of people. Let people live without fear.

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    Thamils by nature mistrust so called Marxists for the simple reason they were led down by the Stalinists as well as the Trotskyites after the passage of Sinhala Only Bill in July, 1956. After opposing the Sinhala Only bill tooth and nail, the Marxists in 1970 joined the very party which introduced the Sinhala Only bill for a few Ministerial portfolios. They gave up their demand for parity of status for both Sinhala and Thamil and raised the communal cry to new heights. In 1965 they marched through the streets of Colombo shouting “Duleyge badaya masalavadaye” meaning Dudley Senanayake has betrayed the Sinhalese by giving into Thamil demands for decentralization of power. The infamous 1972 constitution was piloted by no other than Dr.Colvin R de Silva once the firebrand Trotskyite who said that ‘two languages one nation, one language two nations’. But once becoming the Law Minister he lost no time in getting the Parliament enact legislation abolishing the Senate, the upper house of parliament, and taking away the right of appeal to the Privy Council, the ultimate and final Court of Appeal for Ceylon, both of which formed the bulwarks for the safeguard of the Tamils in the Constitution. He also dutifully in one clean sweep did away with the entrenched Section 29 of the Soulbury constitution, gave legal recognition to Sinhala Only Act and Foremost place to Buddhism!
    To go back in time the Hill Country Tamils lost their citizenship and then their franchise because they voted for the LSSP/CP combine with both their hands during the 1947 elections to parliament. D.S. Senanayake rightly fathomed the better way to eliminate the leftist challenge to his political rule is to deprive the vulnerable and poor Thamil workers their franchise. To the information of Kusal Perera and others, the Thamils have a solid claim for statehood compared with Kosovos or East Timorians because they had a kingdom of their own which lasted for several centuries till it was defeated by the Portuguese in the battle field in 1619. That is the reason why the Vaddukkoddai resolution called for the restoration and reconstitution of the state of Thamil Eelam! Sri Lanka was never one country and that is confirmed by the fact that there is no name in Sinhala for Ceylon. Sri Lanka is a Sanskrit name.

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      Nakkeeran

      You are right. Militancy among Tamil youths arose in the mid 1970s when the left failed them. But the unfortunate thing was these youth were betrayed by some Tamils employed in the public sector at the time for personal gain. I personally know the case of an employee of Colombo Municipality who gave information to PM Sirimavo about the ring leaders of the Tamil youth movement and as a result many of them were murdered by security forces.

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        Nakkeeran

        I forgot to mention that Local Government Service employee is now working for the LTTE in the diaspora! Sorry for the lapse.

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    Pon. Chandran

    The ABC you talk about is the ABC of the politics currently pursued by the Tamil racist LTTE rump. You are a typical example of the human rights sell outs today trying to make personal gains by jumping on the Sri Lanka genocide bandwagon.

    Sri Lanka did not wage war on Tamil Eelam as you claim moronically. Nor did Sri Lanka wage war on Tamils. The war was started by the Tamil ethno fascist Tigers FOR A TAMIL EELAM not only against the Sri Lankan state but also against the moderate democratic Tamils. That is why Prabakaran killed so many democratic Tamil leaders including Alfred Durayappah, Amirthalingam, Yogeswaran, Sam Tambimuttu, Neelan Thiruchelvam and Lakshman Kadirgamar, and so many Tamil community and social activists, human rights workers, academics, journalists, writers and poets, trade-unionists, lawyers, clergy and leftists. The LTTE also decimated all other Tamil militant organizations which fought for the same goal, and banned Tamil political parties and declared itself as the sole representative of the Tamils. That is why the LTTE killed Rajiv Gandhi when he proposed a democratic moderate solution to the Tamil question. You also should have known that the LTTE killed thousands of civilian Tamils and recruited children as child soldiers. You also should have known the atrocities the Tigers committed against Sinhalese and Muslim civilians. The only act of ethnic cleansing that ever happened in Sri Lanka was when Prabakaran kicked out the nearly 100,000 Muslims who had lived in the North for several centuries in 1990. Now all these injustices have stopped.

    I am not saying thousands of innocent Tamil civilians did not die in the final phase of the war. What I’m saying is the major blame for their death should be placed on LTTE for using them as human shield in spite of several opportunities given by the Sri Lankan government to the Tigers to let them go. Instead Prabakaran ordered the shooting of anyone who tried to flee. And the number of Tamil civilians who died in the final phase as well as during the whole 30 year war are far far less than your diabolically cooked up figures. (You should be ashamed of yourself.)

    There are shortcomings in the reconciliation and resettlement process that is currently underway in the north and east. But overall it is progressing with the cooperation of the Tamil people – who actually live in these areas – as all what they want is to at last enjoy the peace dividends and seek a permanent solution to their problems through reconciliation in a pluralist Sri Lanka. But the defeated LTTE rump in the diaspora wants to sabotage this process so that they can continue their ethno fascist project of Tamil Eelam.

    The irony is human rights groups are supporting and legitimizing this sinister objective of the Tigers. Their whole strategy now hinges on making the world believe what happened in Sri Lanka in 2009 was not a war against LTTE terrorism, but a genocide against the Tamil people. Paradoxically the Tigers are now, after the military defeat, even more confident they can achieve Tamil Eelam by playing the genocide card. They naively believe they can put pressure on the international community through student rioting in Tamil Nadu to launch an outside investigation into the alleged genocide. And then the next step would be a referendum paving the way for Tamil Eelam. Your analysis parallels exactly word to word the arguments the LTTE ideologues are making today from every street corner, pulpit and soapbox pedestals.

    Pon Chandran you must be out of your mind to bet your bottom dollar on this convoluted logic. Do something more useful with your imaginative mind and help the downtrodden people of India in their fight against social injustice and poverty. You may lose most of the publicity and foreign trips and benefits you are enjoying now, but believe me your stature in the eyes of your children and good decent people will go up exponentially from the low depths into which it has sunk now. How do you tolerate the stench down there?

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      Stop Rambler. Your crocodile tears are more in volume than Indian ocean. As if SL was state of saints before LTTE arrival. Was n’t the subsequent SL government reponsible for the plight of Tamils in SL and very birth of LTTE? This was even quoted in LLRC report by your own government?

      In four years, you govt had eaten money and spent on building houses for only 450 houses/ What a great progress made by govt?

      It has become excuse fashion for SL sinhalese to quote everytime the LTTE when the utter failure of current regime is discussed. LTTE is buried, and your govt has no excuse now. If you cant govern fast then why do you want the Tamil original land to govern? Moreover, shedding crocodile tears for muslims and hypocrisy is out open even known to OIC to write letter to fasict govt. Your govt is much superior in terrorist activities than the so called LTTE, by killing journalist, abduction etc etc.

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      Tamisl did not start the violence. It i sthe SInhala government from 1956, 1958, 1961, 1977, 191,1983. That is why teh Tamils atrted suppoting LTTE. Polictoal leaders who were killed by LTTE are teh Peopel who started separate state slogan to get Tamil votes and cheated them. LTTE killed them on behalf of teh Tamils.
      I think Government also killed Taviraj, Joseph Pararasingham and Maheswaran on behalf of The Tamils
      Probably Rajapakse gave 750 million excluding teh 750 Million taken by Tiran Alles to LTTE to buy arms to kill teh Sinhala Soldiers

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      Hey Rambler – your inimitable style lets the cat out, buddy!!

      • 0
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        Hey Java Jones

        Yo Wasup? What’s the deal?

        Why you keep grilling? I’m just doing my thing man. Don’t get twisted. Country is assed out. Shit is deep. I’m trying to be a playa doing what I can. I got the juice. I ain’t no cat in the bag man. You keep looking, I ain’t coming out of no bag. Me a crazy stray cat man. I’m already out of the bag, hardcore. Ain’t no time for fakin’ jacks brothaz. Don’t get twisted. What did I do to you? Why you dissing me?

        I gotta dip.
        Peace out.

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