Tamils Diaspora Advocating another Eelam War Amounts to a Crime Against Tamils
By K. Navam, Australia
The war waged by the LTTE has ended abruptly. This war was futile. Due to this war about twenty million people, Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims and others in Sri Lanka could not connect with each other or treat each other with mutual respect, goodwill and kindness. In fact, LTTE created a fear factor and LTTE is to be partially blamed for this situation.
The development of the Tamil militancy destroyed the leadership of the political wisdom of the Tamils, causing the rejection of possible negotiation and mediation solutions and international support. The adoption of a single minded and hardcore approach by LTTE (Prabaharan) destroyed the humanity of the Tamil people.
The LTTE (Prabaharan) unleashed fear among the Tamils in both Sri Lanka and the diasporas. Fear was used to obtain autocracy with guns. He killed opponents ruthlessly and methodically. In fact, Tamils were killed by Prabaharan right up until his death on 17 May 2009. All the mayhem he unleashed finally caught him by surprise. Thank God, this was God’s will.
Over 300,000 people are now struggling inside barbed wire. Several thousand are suffering from acute wounds - having lost arms, legs and other body parts. Young people with war wounds are suffering to the point of asking for death by poison. Hungry people are demanding to be released so that they can settle in their own land and home. Overall, this crisis is mainly attributable to the LTTE (Prabaharan) and the way it (he) conducted the war and addressed the Tamil national issues. Instead of providing freedom for the Tamils, he led them into mayhem, anarchy and internment.
The LTTE was self-proclaimed as the sole representative for the total Tamil population, doing so with guns and bullets. However, the silent majority in Tamils areas opposed the Prabaharan’s ambit claim. Prabaharan did not know the meaning of democracy, people power, people support, unity and teamwork. He herded in 1996, over 500,000 innocent Tamil people from the north to Vanni to serve his futile war games under the pretext of a freedom fight. He shouted down the voices of the poor Tamil people trapped in Vanni. He restricted individuals’ movement through a travel pass system to serve his own agenda. He introduced a tax system to fulfil his terror campaign and lifestyle.
At times he acted like a king but finally died as an unintelligent criminal. I do not think that anyone can call Prabaharan a freedom fighter anymore. However, I am deeply sorrowful for the young who were recruited by him in the name of "freedom fighting"; and they lost their lives for no purpose. I grieve for those Tamil youths who lost their lives as a result of V. Prabaharan's war game.
The Tamil Diaspora, who fled the country to save their children, sold their assets and consolidated their financial position. Many then used this as opportunity to provide financial support for the LTTE to the extreme. The Tamil Diaspora celebrated every win by the LTTE as the Eelam, without using wisdom and vision for the future. They praised the Prabaharan as the greatest leader that Tamils had in the living memory. The Tamil daispora used their finance to modernise the LTTE armoury. They made Parabaharan as the "Sun God" and funded his underground kingdom-like lifestyle.
In fact, the Tamil daispora who protected their children from the war by escaping however, the LTTE should take the some responsibility for the loss of 50,000 young LTTE cadres and the loss of another 100,000 innocent lives in Sri Lanka, majority of them innocent Tamil civilians.
While consolidating the wealth and their overseas life by bringing their immediate families to settle with them, some sections of the Tamil Diaspora contributed to the loss of the Tamil humanity in Sri Lanka. These Diasporas became the real beneficiaries of the Eelam war, and they prolonged this war with their funding support. The Tamil Diaspora became selfish and narrow minded. They failed to educate and advise Prabaharan about alternative approaches.
Many raised funds for LTTE as well as for themselves. In a small place like Brisbane, Australia, not a single person is showing Tamil movies for allegedly humanitarian reasons, but actually making a personal lifestyle out of it. There is no accountability and no one ask questions about it - all in the name of helping the Tamil people. Money is being raised and used in the dark. This money never helped a single innocent person in Vanni. Like wise, many LTTE supporters have made money out of this human tragedy. This is why they want a new Eelam war.
It is sad that a section of the Tamil daispora is talking about a new Tamil Eelam war. The war they had via Prabhakaran was a game. The ordinary Tamils living in Sri Lanka do not want another Prabaharan to have a war game with their Tamil children. Some LTTE front Tamil Diaspora raising the funds through forced collection, businesses and movies and so on now needs to stop making themselves rich and glorious. They should handover the LTTE funds and assets to the people who were victimised through the previous support for Prabaharan. The LTTE fund collectors are worrying about losing the lump-sum collections and commission for their effort.
Many moderate Tamils are charging the Daispora who funded and supported the LTTE of blatant violations of the human rights of the Tamil people in the north and east of Sri Lanka. The Tamil Diaspora did not leave their children for the LTTE fighting machine. They did not leave their own property for use by the LTTE. They used their influence with LTTE and sold their assets and consolidated their financial superiority. They did not leave even their next kin and relatives in the hands of the LTTE. What they did was contribute to the violent growth of the LTTE.
They failed to advise the LTTE to follow wise strategies to address the Tamil national question. They failed to learn from what happened in South Africa, East Timor and Northern Ireland. Those countries finally settled their conflicts through negotiated and mediated political solutions. Those countries involved the international community to help find a political solution for their national issues. The Tamil Diasporas failed to lobby for international pressure on the Sri Lankan government to address the long-standing issues of the Tamils.
Tamil Eelam was not possible and Tamil Eelam will not be possible in the future. The only solution is to have a federal system with local autonomy and powers for the Tamil people within a united Sri Lanka. The time has come for the Tamil Diaspora to seriously consider this option and invite the international community to help find the solution.
Four years ago, when I returned from Sri Lanka, I told many Tamils that the LTTE would soon come to an abrupt demise. I reasoned that Tamils (LTTE) were killing Tamils, Prabaharan was not connected to ordinary Tamils, there was a political vacuum, and the ordinary people in Sri Lanka were not supporting the war. In fact, many people have now reminded me about my earlier prediction.
Prabaharan did have support from the section of Diasporas due to fear. The fear unleashed by the LTTE leaders created an uncompromising situation among the many Diaspora Tamils to become unwilling partners in the crimes against humanity that were unleashed by Prabaharan.
In order to lead a political solution to address the legitimate rights of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka, and the remaining LTTE remnants should not be part of this process. LTTE remnants cannot make a constructive contribution towards peaceful ends. They should not be part of any political formation process. Peace-loving Tamils, both within and outside of Sri Lanka, unreservedly advocate for a permanent solution for the island to include all ethnic communities as states within one country. This is a federal system. This is the only viable and long term solution for the current ethnic imbroglio and for developing a lasting peace in post- war Sri Lanka.
To this end, I urge the Sri Lanka government to nurture a genuine reconciliation with Tamil communities, both within and outside of Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan government should nurture a long-lasting political solution for the Tamil community. They must treat all Tamils as equal citizens of Sri Lanka, whilst recognising and addressing the well-founded Tamil grievances, and permitting Tamils to maintain their own cultural identity and heritage. All communities in Sri Lanka should turn from the past and look ahead with new vision for the new Sri Lanka.
Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, has appealed to Sri Lankan political leaders to resolve the long-standing grievances of the Tamil minority. He should have also appeal to the Tamil people to generate a constructive discussion and engagement with the international community towards that political solution. The international community has a responsibility to help find a political and economic solution to the Sri Lankan.
Calling for and supporting yet another Eelam war is a moral crime. The Tamil Daispora should take the responsibility for the LTTE actions and the loss of the Tamil lives in Sri Lanka. The overseas LTTE network should dismantle its structure and handover the assets and the funds to those people who suffered in the name of the four Eelam wars. They should give up the scary tactics and violent means previously used to suppress the truth. Truth and reconciliation should prevail. The Sri Lankan government and the Sinhalese community should be proactive partners in reaching out to the Tamil community with goodwill and support.
The defeat of the LTTE offers a once in a lifetime historical opportunity to end the worst civil and terrorist conflict of the past 30 years and to now build a united and federated Sri Lanka. It would benefit everyone for this opportunity to be grasped as soon as possible. However, the most immediate needs of this humanitarian disaster are the internally displaced persons. This should be addressed with respect and dignity for those people who need kindness, generosity, goodwill and support from all sections of the wider community. Protection of civilians in the north and east must be maintained. All kidnappings, killings and ransom should be immediately rooted out. No Tamil should have to fear for his or her life and be afraid to live in Sri Lanka.
This is the time for the Tamil Diaspora to reflect and release the Eelam aspirations from their soul and heart. Let the moderate Tamil leaders sprout and grow without fear and persecution by other Tamils. Let new leaders grow with a vision for the Tamils within a united Sri Lanka. Let the other militant Tamil groups give up their weapons forever and stop persecuting young Tamils. Let the Sri Lankan government create a united Sri Lanka. Let the international community mediate and moderate a long-lasting, viable, and peaceful solution for the legitimate rights of the Tamil people.
Having won the physical war, the Sri Lanka government now needs to win the hearts and minds of the Tamil people. Political reform, political reconciliation, and political rapprochement are the need of the hour. The process of national reconciliation must be inclusive so that it can fully address the legitimate rights of the Tamils as well as other communities within a united and federated Sri Lanka.
- Asian Tribune -