20 October, 2017

WikiLeaks: Sinhala Community Will Treat Tamils Even More Poorly With Prabhakaran Gone

By Colombo Telegraph

“Mixed but moderate responses in Tamil Nadu followed the news of the death of Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), from relief to indifference to occasional outright denial. Despite the efforts of political parties to turn concern over the Sri Lankan war into votes in Tamil Nadu, the issue had little impact on the recent elections. Fears of organized uprisings for the defeated LTTE turned out to be unwarranted, as sporadic and ineffectual episodes of protest fizzled out, and Tamils were left with only colorful conspiracy theories to mark the passing of the famed chief of the Tigers. The historic ties between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, only 30 miles apart, failed to inspire both voters and potential protesters, but security concerns still muted the commemoration of the 18th anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination by an LTTE suicide bomber. Unease remains over what the few remaining LTTE supporters in the state might do.” the US Consulate Chennai (India) informed Washington.

The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The cable analyses the death of Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the Tamil Nadu reaction. The cable was written on May 22, 2009 by US Consulate Chennai.

The US Consulate wrote; “S.C. Chandrahasan, a leader of Tamil Nadu’s Sri Lankan refugee community, said that news of Prabhakaran’s death was met with sadness by many of the refugees who, despite their distaste for the LTTE’s tactics, believe that Sri Lanka’s Sinhala community will treat Tamils even more poorly with Prabhakaran gone. Chandrahasan added that the dominant sentiment is resignation, and that he does not believe there will be unrest in the refugee community in the wake of the LTTE’s defeat. The fate of the Tamil internally displaced persons (IDPs), and not a Tamil ‘Eelam’ or separate state, has now become the main rallying cry for the Sri Lankan Tamils Protection Movement, which organized rallies in Tirunelveli and Tuticorin (in southern and coastal Tamil Nadu), peaceably calling for UN intervention to monitor the treatment of Tamil IDPs in Sri Lanka.”

“Some die-hard Prabakharan supporters in Tamil Nadu refuse to accept that the LTTE leader is dead. Assurances that Prabakharan was ‘hale and healthy’ came from the Tamils’ Protection Movement, as the MDMK’s Vaiko refused to accept that the LTTE commander had been killed, and many speculated that the image shown on television was of one of Prabhakaran’s body-doubles.” the Consulate further wrote.

The US Consulate wrote; “May 21 marked the 18th anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi by an LTTE suicide bomber just outside of Chennai in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. This year no member of the Gandhi family traveled to the site to mark the anniversary. Media speculation centered around two possible explanations: that either the Gandhi family wanted to avoid the potential embarrassment of facing pro-LTTE protests or that security considerations kept them away. Karti Chidambaram, son of Home Minister P. Chidambaram, cited ‘security concerns’ as the reason for the absence of the Gandhi family at the Sriperumbudur memorial.”

Placing a comment the US Consulate wrote; “The Sri Lankan civil war has long cast a shadow over Tamil Nadu. Revulsion over the Rajiv Gandhi assassination in 1991 moved support for the LTTE from polite society to the fringes of political discourse. Sentiment shifted temporarily back in the direction of the LTTE last year as Tamil civilian casualties mounted in Sri Lanka. The change in sentiment was shallow and short-lived: the parties that most vocally took up the Tamil cause lost badly in the recent elections. But the refusal of some in Tamil Nadu to believe Prabhakaran is dead demonstrates the depth of pro-LTTE sentiment on the far periphery of the state’s political culture. Their numbers are likely quite small, but they may be willing to extend aid and comfort to elements of the LTTE fleeing their military defeat on the island. Tamil Nadu, which is a short boat ride away and where Sri Lankan Tamils can fairly easily blend, is a logical destination for the remnants of the defeated terrorist organization.”

Read the cable below for further detail;

VZCZCXRO0758
RR RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHPW
DE RUEHCG #0151/01 1420522
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 220522Z MAY 09
FM AMCONSUL CHENNAI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2276
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0256
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEILB/NCTC WASHINGTON DC
RUEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEIDN/DNI WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 CHENNAI 000151 

SENSITIVE 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PTER PHUM PREL IN ASEC CE
SUBJECT:  TAMIL NADU QUIET AFTER PRABHAKARAN'S DEATH 

¶1.  (SBU) Summary.  Mixed but moderate responses in Tamil Nadu
followed the news of the death of Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of
the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), from relief to
indifference to occasional outright denial.  Despite the efforts of
political parties to turn concern over the Sri Lankan war into votes
in Tamil Nadu, the issue had little impact on the recent elections.
Fears of organized uprisings for the defeated LTTE turned out to be
unwarranted, as sporadic and ineffectual episodes of protest fizzled
out, and Tamils were left with only colorful conspiracy theories to
mark the passing of the famed chief of the Tigers.  The historic
ties between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, only 30 miles apart, failed
to inspire both voters and potential protesters, but security
concerns still muted the commemoration of the 18th anniversary of
Rajiv Gandhi's assassination by an LTTE suicide bomber.  Unease
remains over what the few remaining LTTE supporters in the state
might do.  End summary. 

Sri Lanka was not an election issue
------------ 

¶2.  (SBU)  The AIADMK-led coalition tried to make heavy weather of
the LTTE cause during the recent election campaign, hoping to
capitalize on rising pro-Tamil sentiment in the state as images of
civilian casualties dominated the state's airwaves and newspapers.
But the electorate did not buy it.  The AIADMK alliance lost badly,
falling far short of expectations it would win at least 30 seats in
Tamil Nadu.  The parties that most aggressively sought to take
advantage of the Sri Lankan cause fared worst at the polls:  the PMK
lost all seven of the seats it contested; MDMK leader Vaiko could
not even win in his hometown.  With the just-released images of LTTE
leader Prabhakaran's body flashing on the television in front of
him, PMK Member of Parliament Ambumani Ramadoss said that "Sri Lanka
is a non-issue in Tamil Nadu.  The elections proved it."  Ramadoss
told us that he did not expect any widespread reaction to the LTTE
leader's death and the end of the island nation's civil war.   An
editor with The Hindu echoed Ramadoss's remarks, saying that he
feels there is little political support for the LTTE in the state. 

Prabhakaran's death doesn't provoke much reaction
------------ 

¶3.  (SBU) Some Indian Tamils and Sri Lankan Tamil refugees were
reportedly upset by the news of Prabakharan's death, but fears of
mob violence turned out to be unjustified.  Security was tightened
throughout Tamil Nadu, especially in coastal areas and around
refugee camps.  But 25 students blocking traffic, some apathetic
stone-throwing, and one attempt to light a bus on fire and at
self-immolation (the pro-LTTE protest technique most frequently used
in the past) were the sum of local reaction.  S.C. Chandrahasan, a
leader of Tamil Nadu's Sri Lankan refugee community, said that news
of Prabhakaran's death was met with sadness by many of the refugees
who, despite their distaste for the LTTE's tactics, believe that Sri
Lanka's Sinhala community will treat Tamils even more poorly with
Prabhakaran gone.  Chandrahasan added that the dominant sentiment is
resignation, and that he does not believe there will be unrest in
the refugee community in the wake of the LTTE's defeat.  The fate of
the Tamil internally displaced persons (IDPs), and not a Tamil
"Eelam" or separate state, has now become the main rallying cry for
the Sri Lankan Tamils Protection Movement, which organized rallies
in Tirunelveli and Tuticorin (in southern and coastal Tamil Nadu),
peaceably calling for UN intervention to monitor the treatment of
Tamil IDPs in Sri Lanka. 

Diehards refuse to believe he's dead
------------ 

¶4.  (SBU) Some die-hard Prabakharan supporters in Tamil Nadu refuse
to accept that the LTTE leader is dead.  Assurances that Prabakharan
was "hale and healthy" came from the Tamils' Protection Movement, as
the MDMK's Vaiko refused to accept that the LTTE commander had been
killed, and many speculated that the image shown on television was
of one of Prabhakaran's body-doubles.  Pro-LTTE voices first
insisted on footage of the body, then denied that the footage was
genuine, and now are demanding DNA verification of the remains.  "It
is a ploy," one refugee told reporters.  As with sightings of Elvis,
glimpses of the man Indian military experts call a "slippery
character" are predicted but have not yet been confirmed. 

Security concerns lead to low-key Rajiv Gandhi commemoration
------------ 

CHENNAI 00000151  002 OF 002 

¶5.  (SBU) May 21 marked the 18th anniversary of the assassination of
Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi by an LTTE suicide bomber just outside
of Chennai in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu.  This year no member of the
Gandhi family traveled to the site to mark the anniversary.  Media
speculation centered around two possible explanations:  that either
the Gandhi family wanted to avoid the potential embarrassment of
facing pro-LTTE protests or that security considerations kept them
away.  Karti Chidambaram, son of Home Minister P. Chidambaram, cited
"security concerns" as the reason for the absence of the Gandhi
family at the Sriperumbudur memorial.  Chidambaram told us he
believes the general public in Tamil Nadu is opposed to the LTTE,
but that there are a thousand or so "radicalized young men" who
could prove dangerous.  B. Raman, a former Research and Analysis
Wing official who follows the LTTE closely, wrote, "there are
elements in Tamil Nadu who could get emotional over the death of
Prabhakaran and self-motivate themselves to give vent to their anger
through terrorism.  There is a need for a heightened alert for at
least some months." 

¶6.  (SBU) Comment:  The Sri Lankan civil war has long cast a shadow
over Tamil Nadu.  Revulsion over the Rajiv Gandhi assassination in
1991 moved support for the LTTE from polite society to the fringes
of political discourse.  Sentiment shifted temporarily back in the
direction of the LTTE last year as Tamil civilian casualties mounted
in Sri Lanka.  The change in sentiment was shallow and short-lived:
the parties that most vocally took up the Tamil cause lost badly in
the recent elections.  But the refusal of some in Tamil Nadu to
believe Prabhakaran is dead demonstrates the depth of pro-LTTE
sentiment on the far periphery of the state's political culture.
Their numbers are likely quite small, but they may be willing to
extend aid and comfort to elements of the LTTE fleeing their
military defeat on the island.  Tamil Nadu, which is a short boat
ride away and where Sri Lankan Tamils can fairly easily blend, is a
logical destination for the remnants of the defeated terrorist
organization.  End comment. 

KAPLAN

 

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Latest comments

  • 1
    0

    Prabakaran is dead and the LTTE was decimated.
    Even the LTTE cemeteries have been erased.
    But when tamils anywhere demand equality and justice, they are labelled “LTTE” ‘rump’!
    Anyone – even non-tamils – who demands equality and justice, are labelled LTTE supporters.
    Anyone who demands enforcement of Rule of Law is labelled as an LTTE supporter.
    Anyone who highlights instances of injustice is labelled as an LTTE supporter.
    Thus,LTTE lives on mostly in the minds of those who are not tamils.
    This mindset is disastrous for tamils – even those who mourn their ancesters – as they are arrested and incarcerated unjustly.
    Even those “rehabilitated” and released are rearrested and harassed

    Dhanu,the suicide bomber was brought by car to the venue of the meeting by MLA Maragatham,who went away immediately.
    The crowd of 20 – 30 congress supporters who greeted Rajiv Ghandi at the venue,carefully kept 20 to 30 feet away from him,when he walked forward to meet the crowd of people including Dhanu.
    None was injured in the explosion.
    Their,and Maragatham’s testimony was NOT led at the trial.

    • 0
      0

      who is rewriting history?

    • 0
      0

      The first step for justice for Tamils is nothing less than self-criticism, internal review, unequivocal condemnation of Prabakaran & LTTE, and total repudiation of Tamil Fascism.

      And this is only the first step!

  • 0
    0

    after ltte leader s death and crushed the tigers now the regime or sinhalese extremists had started to attack the innocent muslims and christians in sri lanka. muslims mosques.and christian statue and abusings the minorities in the public by these monks and racsits sinhalese groups. we are expecting for a UN peace keeping force should come this country to solve ethnic problem which has been increasing day by day. these extremist groups want communial riots to attack the innocents. they have been wel train to do such atrotics they have good expereince , where they killed over 40,000 innocents.

    • 1
      1

      How is it that the minorities are always so innocent?

  • 0
    0

    IN SRI LANKA MINORITIES HAVE NO SECURITY IN HERE. THEY WANTED TO MAKE ETHNIC CLEANING LIKE IN YUGASLAVIA, BOSNIA,SERBIA WITH THE HELP OF ISRAEL.

  • 0
    1

    There is some truth.

    When Prabakaran was living Tamils never opened their mouths to voice against the relentless atrocities comitted by VP & LTTE other to EAT for the fear of ltte pistol gangs.
    Then, these Tamils took refuge in the south including their politicians.

    Now that Prabakaran is dead, Oh !!! these Tamils now yell blue murder even if they are accidently touched by a Sinhalese.

    As such, there is a justifiable reason for the Sinhalese to treat the Tamils poorly with VP gone and so says S.C.Chandrahasan with a view to continue to fan the communal hatred.

    IF THE TAMILS ARE REASONABLE ENOUGH TO THINK INDEPENDENTLY, IN REALITY IT IS NOT SO. TODATE, THERE HAD BEEN NO BACKLASH AS SEEN IN 1983. THAT SPEAKS VOLUMES.
    DID THE TAMILS NOT SEE HOW THE GOSL SAVED 300K TAMILS TRAPPED IN THE VANNI AND HOW THEY FED THEM. IT WAS NO EASY TASK TO HANDLE SUCH A INFLUX SPONTANEOUSLY
    THE AMOUNT OF MONIES POURED IN TO THE NORTH TO DEVELOP THE PLACE DESPITE A MERGRE POPULATION.
    TAMILS ARE NEVER CONTENDED NOR WILL THEY EVER APPRECIATE WHAT WAS AND IS BEING DONE. i FALL SHORT OF SAYING UNGRATEFUL. ITS TAMIL MENTALITY.
    TAMIL HIGH CASTE SUPRESSED THE LOW CASTE IN EVERY SPHERE INCLUDING EDUCATION.THE MISSIONARIES FIRST AND THEN FREE EDUCATION WAS INTRODUCED TO THE NORTH. THESE LOW CASTE WERE TOO GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY OF AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY FOR EDUCATION AS THE HIGH CASTE.
    THE LOW CLASS GOT EDUCATED AND TURNED THE GUNS ON GOSL INSTEAD ON THE TAMIL HIGH CASTE
    THE SINHALESE KNOW ALL THAT.

    • 2
      0

      Dicky Bird,

      You are better off officiating Cricket Matches as you dont have a clue about Sri Lankan and more to the point the Sinhalse politics and that has never changed and will never change.
      The Sinhalse Tamil struggle is 3000 years old and it is laughable when you say that there was no backlash as seen since 1983.
      Man backlash against what you have been killing the Tamils since independance in their thousands so dont talk rubbis.

      • 0
        1

        You say that you fight for 3000 years. So where has the ehtnic clensing happened. The truth is that current Tamils live in Sri Lanka for 400 or so years since they were brought by Dutches for tobacco cultivation in North in 1600’s. Ethnic clensing happens in western countries where Tamils die to go and love to live as they tactically and/or forcefully absorb migrant’s next generation kids into their major ethnic group whereas in Sri Lanka all the groups live in every where with full rights for centuries.

  • 0
    0

    It appears that LTTE made sure that at least the Sinhalese in South of Sri Lanka had justice and peace among themselves. With LTTE gone the wrath of the Government appears to have turned on to the Southern Sinhalese. There is no justice or democracy for the Sinhalese as well. Was LTTE the gate keepers of the Sinhalese?

    • 0
      0

      The Sinhala Buddhist fanatics who took control of Ceylon, changed the name to Sri Lanka and drove away the decent, honest and respectable citizens of the country of all hue, including the Western educated Sinhalese Buddhists. Thereafter they ruled and roosted to their dictate and were made to kneel down, thanks to the human bombs of the LTTE. What a price some one to end his/her life driven beyond the limits of tolerance. Who can blame them? As you say the LTTE were the gate keepers of the Sinhalese who are left high and dry today.

    • 0
      0

      Yeah man

  • 0
    0

    muslims in sri lanka are facing very difficult task for survival. business boycot,hala certificate issue,burqa issue,birth issue,etc.

    discrimination of tamils in sri lanka formed LTTE, last for 30 years.lost of lives,properties etc.

    we have peace not another war which has to be educate the extremist groups in sri lanka BBS led by monks.

    • 0
      0

      It is Rajapakse way of governing…..creating animosity between majority Sinhala Buddhist against minority.

      Now BBS is doing what Police suppose to do. Very soon they will also do Army’s jobs. Rajapakses let the dog’s out……and won’t be able to tie them up. SWRD Banda did this 60 years ago.

  • 0
    0

    Colombo Telegraph editors should think very seriously about the headline to this article “Sinhala Community Will Treat Tamils Even More Poorly With Prabhakaran Gone”. This does not at all reflect the core arguments in the report leaked by Wikileaks. In fact the statement cited reflected only the fears of some unnamed people and not an authoritative source. Most of the article dealt with the relief and indifference thought to prevail in Tamil Nadu about the death of Prabhakaran and the defeat of the LTTE.

    In my view this sort of alarmist and divisive headline is highly irresponsible and could easily contibute to re-igniting inter-communal conflict rather than encouraging reconciliation and co-operation. The CT can hardly criticise extremist actions from other individuals and groups if it is doing the same thing itself. Or does the CT want to gain a reputation as makers of conflict rather than of harmony?

    • 0
      0

      In fact the statement regarding feared worse treatment of Tamils by Sinhalese was made by S.C. Chandrahasan, a supposed
      leader of Tamil Nadu’s Sri Lankan refugee community. But my main point still stands – the headline does not reflect the main points in the American report and could be construed as misleading and divisive.

      • 1
        0

        Whatever the points in the article the title of the article has been proved true – the tamils are being treated very badly by their won government since the death of VP.

        VP ruled them with an iron fist and the Rajapaksa regime has further tightened its grip on the tamil population through its military. The plight of the tamils is worse now than ever before despite there being no killings.

        That’s the reality, my friend.

        • 1
          0

          VP had an ironfist around tamils and fear around all the rest of Sri Lankan people. MR has ironfist around all in Sri Lanka and fear around all those who disagree with his methods and, far worse, all those who disagree with the methods of his cronies like Mermyn the Vermyn. People is Sri Lanka has fallen from the frying pan into the fire.

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