There is a certain degree of denial in certain sections of the Tamil community, especially those living outside Sri Lanka. They just can’t accept the fact that the LTTE is no more. They could take a cue from Janani Jayanayagam, that wide-eyed, hate-mongering, ill-educated politician who wants to be a member of the European Parliament, for example, publicly claimed that she is in mourning. What is there to mourn? Her mourning period began only after the LTTE leadership was destroyed. If her naive little heart bled for the plight of the Tamils, then, given that the status of the Tamils in terms of the conditions they were living in, had certainly not deteriorated after May 18, 2009, she should have started her mourning long before.
But there is a kind of mourning that I can understand and empathise with; those who genuinely felt that the LTTE represented an aspiration they could identify with, even though the articulation and the articulator of aspirations were by any standard an absolute aberration and an affront to the dignity of the Tamil community and the civilisational wells their culture draws from. Such people are not celebrating. They mourn because they’ve gone past denial. The rest too will move on, come to accept, and who knows even celebrate an LTTE-less world.
The Jananis of the Tamil Diaspora are now talking of forming a government-in-exile. There won’t be any Tamils resident in Sri Lanka in this government because that would be a contradiction. This is an excellent idea. For the last several months they’ve operated in an unreal space, tearing their hair out because they were suckers for fabrication and exaggeration, and didn’t lift one finger to help their brethren in Sri Lanka. They chose to put all their eggs in a terrorists basket. Now there is egg on their faces. If they want to deny that its all egg, fine. They may think they are the tigers whiskers, but egg-faces are not pretty and they smell bad after some time. So a virtual Eelam is a good thing because Prabhakaran’s life and death proved that really will not happen.
It is said that this government-in-exile is going to be headed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navaneetham Pillay. That’s an excellent idea. She would no longer be able to engage in sanctimonious posturing in international fora, exposing inter alia, an abysmal knowledge of Sri Lanka’s conflict and a conspicuous penchant for rabble-rousing, absolutely unbecoming of the post she holds. Some uneducated Tamil may object to Pillay becoming Prime Minister of Virtual Eelam because she is a citizen of South Africa, but I am sure someone will quickly point out that Chelvanayagam was a Malaysian and that no pro-Eelam Tamil could ever tell us the home town of Ponnambalam Arunachalam and Ponnambalam Ramanathan’s grandparents.
So its all good. The Jananis will continue to howl in the hollow spaces of blogs and chat rooms but they will not be heard by the ordinary Tamil citizens living in Sri Lanka. But Pillay gets to be the leader of a nation that doesn’t have a territory or history to reference, no people to speak for, no economy to manage, no elections to contest and best of all no protests to quell. Good luck you people!
The more sober sections of the Tamil community can do things differently. For starters, they can ask themselves what was achieved by filling Prabhakarans war chest with billions of rupees. In the business of who-killed-whom and the consideration of the balance sheet, they will have to assess their degree of culpability in crimes against humanity or in the very least their contribution to what the Tamils in the North are currently suffering. And those who were forced to be silent will not have their voice and that’s no thanks to the Jananis, Pillais or Prabhakaran but the Government of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankans who backed the President to the hilt in executing the war that took out the invasive cancer called the LTTE.
I believe that both Sinhala and Tamil cultures have spawned and continue to spawn exceptional human beings endowed with the feet necessary to walk away from and beyond tragedy. This is already happening. With time, wounds will heal and not because of the concern of those sections of the international community represented by His-Day-Are-Numbered-Miliband but in spite of them.
We need to understand that the denial of the pro-LTTE Tamils is nothing compared to the denial that is evident in some people suffering from Post-Empire Angst in Britain and France these days. They just can’t stomach the fact that the world has moved and has left them behind. This is why they get an unqualified person like Pillay to talk about unfettered access to Sri Lanka and demand an independent (sic) inquiry into what happened during the last days of the LTTE.
Unfettered access is what they enjoyed for centuries. They accessed, screwed, screwed-up and took away quite a bit of loot. As for independent, that is something none of these countries, in particular Britain, France and the EU (well, most members of that motley group of countries whose lifestyles were purchased by shedding brown peoples blood) can claim to be. Let’s name some independent countries, Pillay. How about it? Got any names? I suggest Bhutan. We could have Afghanistan. How about Burkina Faso? Jamaica? Grenada? Yemen would be great too.
Dayan Jayatilleka, our Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, I believe was being quite mild when he rapped the EU, Britain and Ireland on their humanitarian knuckles on Friday: Let France institute an impartial independent inquiry into the millions of deaths in so called French Indo-China, and then in Algeria, including those who were submitted to electro-shock during the battle of Algiers! Let it also have an independent inquiry into the disappearance of Mehdi Ben Barka from the streets of Paris, and possible complicity of all sorts of personalities in that disappearance.
Let Great Britain and Ireland have an international inquiry into the events of Bloody Sunday in 1972 in Londonderry, where there was no fog of war unlike in the closing stages of the Sri Lankan conflict, but dead civilians were strewn on the streets of Londonderry. After two commissions of inquiry, the only result has been the promotion of every single soldier who was there on that day, and the commanding officer being given some sort of honour by her Majesty the Queen!
Yes, such are the necessary preconditions for walking in unfettered. This side of such willingness on the part of these self-righteous nincompoops, they can only expect unreserved contempt.
Pillay is a slow learner, it seems. India’s Ambassador to the UN put her in place during the sessions, whipping her for essentially undermining the respectability of her post when she refused to abide by the conclusions of the Special Session on Sri Lanka, much like a child who goes to one teacher after another making the same ridiculous complaint hoping that someone will take some action. That’s not diplomacy. That’s a second-grade cry-baby ploy.
It is in this context that the observations that President Rajapaksa made regarding the international community during the celebrations at Galle Face Green on June 3, 2009 merit consideration. It is time to start a new era in foreign relations, he said, pointing out that having won the freedom of (the) motherland, freedom and sovereignty must be established internationally.
Yes, we need to strengthen relations with honest, close and friendly nations, especially in Asia and not predators. We’ve had Pillay and her ancestors, Miliband and his ancestors, dictating to us for too long. The masters they serve are not in decline. This is their last hurrah and Sri Lanka, significantly, is the name of the battlefield in which the transfer of global power will officially take place.
The Sinhalese and Tamils of this country have to reconcile differences, heal their respective wounds, but the last thing they need is a bunch of no-good nutcases overseeing a shaking of hands. We can live with a diaspora that wants a Cyber Eelam. Go for it! We cannot suffer the Pillays and Kouchners and Milibands. There is good news, folks, the world is in the process of doing you a favour. You won’t have to look after us. You can look after yourselves in future. But like a good chap, Miliband, please start paying the 5000 billion sterling pounds (conservative estimate) that you people owe us. It’s long overdue, chum.
Malinda Seneviratne is a freelance writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.