The political expression of Tamil militancy | Daily News


The political expression of Tamil militancy

Former LTTE child soldiers.
Former LTTE child soldiers.

In the Northern Lankan town of Vadukoddai, where the radical Tamil Political Declaration of Independence was made in 1976, there is now hardly any criticism of militants or the armed forces. Founded in May 1976 by Praba, it was involved in armed clashes against the Lankan forces and by the late 1980s was the dominant Tamil militant group in Sri Lanka. The escalation of intermittent conflict into a full-scale nationalist insurgency, however, did not commence before the countrywide pogroms against Tamils. Since1983, more than 80,000 have been killed in the conflict that lasted 26 years, a large number of whom were Sri Lankan Tamil civilians.

The LTTE which started as a guerrilla force, over time, increasingly came to resemble that of a conventional fighting force with a well-developed military wing that included a navy, an airborne unit, an intelligence wing, and a specialized suicide attack unit. It was designated as a terrorist organisation by 32 countries, including the European Union, Canada, the United States, and India. The Indian state's relationship with the LTTE in particular, was complex, as it went from initially supporting the organisation to engaging it in direct combat through the Indian Peace Keeping Force, owing to changes in the former's foreign policy during the phase of the conflict.

Tamil Diaspora

From time to time one hears words of praise, even now for the militants. Often one hears about the pain and losses during the war. That could be the political face of Tamil militancy. Jaffna also is of similar makeup now. There are areas in the North where people are openly agitating against the government; there is an active condemnation of the Sri Lankan Government within the Tamil Diaspora which includes a good proportion of former militants. The way foreign countries positions to the debacle would vary and one would be able to work out the respective government’s commitment from their action or inaction.

Last year, it was reported in Australia, the arrest of UNSW student Kamer Nizamdeen from Sri Lanka, on terrorism charges. It was not surprising because of many experiences at the universities of NSW where weak administrations naturally infected by the NSW Police. Similar intrusions take place in Sri Lanka too; if the gossip columns are telling the truth. By allowing to go through one can learn the true position of Sri Lanka too. That is the reality.

As per the migrants who left Sri Lanka to make a life there in Australia, Sri Lanka is a country that carries a high risk of war. In an open environment, unsettled conflicts get carried as a positive or negative truth. The arrest of alleged supporters of LTTE recently in Malaysia was reported by Strait Times of Singapore also as follows: “Malaysia nabs 5 more Tamil Tigers ‘followers'; says don't confuse with the plight of Sri Lanka Tamils.”

LTTE sympathizers

Malaysian counter-terrorism chief Datuk Ayob Khan said there was nothing wrong in sympathizing with the Tamils in Sri Lanka, but it is an offence to support the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as they are a terror group. He said this on Sunday (Oct 13) as Malaysian police came under criticism after it detained five more Malaysians in a swoop against what it said were followers and sympathizers of the defunct LTTE, bringing the total arrested to 12.

Two of the seven men arrested in the first swoop last week were ethnic-Indian assemblymen from the Democratic Action Party (DAP), part of the ruling Pakistan Harappan (PH) coalition. That distinction is necessary for an officer responsible to uphold order as per the law. If Dharma were to prevail, the same law must apply to the other side – which is the government of Sri Lanka – especially in the case of politicians who are promising ‘freedom’ from law to their side in the war. The seven people arrested for their alleged links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) militant group should be charged under the Penal Code, says Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy. He said they should not be detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) 2012 for 28 days. “The police should show evidence and bring them to court. Use the Penal Code on them, where they would have a chance to defend themselves.”

“Sosma and the Sedition Act are draconian laws which have yet to be repealed by the Pakatan Harappan government,” Ramasamy said when met at his office at Komtar. Star Online reported as follows about how Tamil leaders in Malaysia interpreted the Police action. When it comes to Political arrests – the parallel action at government level ought to be to expressly disassociate with the political group that promises to release those who have been found guilty of the parallel offence by the Judiciary.

Ramasamy said he was not aware of the activities of Sami Nathan and Gunasegaram before their arrests. “All I know is they attended a war memorial for war victims in Melaka last year, which is not tantamount to a crime. Is it a crime to attend a war memorial for war victims or be sympathetic to the Rohingya, Tamilians and Hamas?” he said. Memorials when they are for ‘showing’ – activate the past.

Some are activating the past after claiming that Lanka eliminated the LTTE and Tamil supporters. To the extent LTTE as part of the Tamil community – every civilian Tamil has the right to mourn and inherit their courage and motivational Energy. Genuine Memorials are healthy because they help the community to raise the good of the dead to the higher level and clean the bad in the dead by present good and thus inherit the good. That which is healthy for the civilian is healthy for the nation. Time Anniversaries and Place activate or settle such past. To my mind, the Rajapaksas are activating the past for current advantage. Their opposition would also then react to it and invoke their (opposition’s) side. The sixth amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution came about due to the Vaddukoddai Resolution and the July ‘83 massacre of Tamils.

13th Amendment

The 13th Amendment to the constitution provided for devolution of power to the Provinces in addition to recognizing Tamil also as the official language and English as the link language. This happened in 1987 due to the influence of Left who worked with the UNP. Also, we must mention India’s influence; which effectively nullified the Sixth Amendment. The 13th Amendment became effective on November 14, 1987. The 2015 elections were called in November 2014.

The current President proclaimed the dissolution of the Parliament, followed by Mahinda Rajapaksa leaving SLFP the ancestral party to join SLPP followed by the staying of the Presidential proclamation – all happened in November 2013. During this – Tamil Politicians were active as Equals and the victory of the UNP was the victory of Tamils also. This gives Tamil civilians the hope to continue along the political pathway to confirm Equal status as a Sovereign community.

‘Time and Place carry the Truth of ancestral powers has arrived. When we respect them they become positive spirits that protect us. When we make them current benefits – they become ghosts’. This is the way the ordinary folks of Tamil culture would project their future – provided they are not distracted by false promises.

Visit Sri Lanka's Largest online shop. Over 125,000 unique categories such as Fresh Flowers, Cakes, Food, Jewllery, Childrens Toys and other Sri Lankan e-commerce categories. Low delivery cost to most cities here and free delivery in Colombo.

Add new comment