|Wednesday, 15 October 2003|
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SU's desperate antics
The Sihala Urumaya, we are told, had organised a trek to the disputed Wan Ela camp which the LTTE has claimed is built on territory occupied by it. By threatening to launch the march the Sihala Urumaya has sought to show its strong attachment to the majority community of this country and what the party considers is the community's heritage, besides showing scant regard for the State, the SLMM and the law of the land. Our minds are taken back to the tactics used by militant, atavistic organisations in this part of the world, which commanded little support among the people, to further their obscurantist causes.
The classical theory underlying guerrilla revolutionary practice was that the grievances already existing among the people should be exploited by them to expand their support base and that once thus fortified they should take on the State security forces with the aim of seizing governmental power.
Militant, communal organizations which came into being in this region in the early and mid Eighties stood this theory on its head. Rather than wait till the time is ripe for the launching of the visualized popular insurrection, these groups resorted to the tactic of "creating" grievances among the targeted population by provoking retaliatory acts on the latter by the State security forces. In other words, even if grievances didn't exist among the people, they were sought to be created by the militants who didn't command any significant support among the people.
Now, the Sihala Urumaya has still to prove that it has a following worth speaking of among the Lankan electorate. Its dismal performances at successive elections is the proof of this. Even over a single seat it occupied in Parliament a few years ago, a savage free for all broke out among its membership which proved that it was more a divided house than a united organization.
By resorting to its own brand of "long marches" we wonder whether the SU too is trying to foist grievances and disaffection among its following, so as to bringing it into collision with the law enforcers. In other words, the SU is spoiling for a fight with the State, realising that it is left with no other way of breeding more supporters for its cause. These observations are forced on us by the present histrionics of the SU which are in brazen violation of law and order.
Rather than resort to these extra-parliamentary measures which would only destabilize internal law and order, it would be worth the SU's while to go before the people with their "cause" at future hustings and thereby enable the public to arrive at an objective assessment of its support base and strength. Inviting trouble on its few supporters and attempting to force the arm of the State are tried and tested methods which have only driven political groups into the wilderness. What has, for instance, become of the Punjab-based Khalistan Commando Force? The Sikhs are today, far better off by not having them around.
The SU should ponder the writing on the wall. The extremist call has very few takers among the public. This only power continues to alternate only among the country's moderate political parties. Polls results now clearly indicate that the people want a negotiated political solution to the conflict. The path of violence stands rejected.
Produced by Lake House