Ilankai Tamil Sangam

24th Year on the Web

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

The Meaning of Terrorism

by Wakeley Paul, Esq.

The entire Sinhalese government posture rests upon the fallacy that they cannot survive without discrimination. The idea is shocking in its blinding simplicity.

How did the term “Terrorism” originate and how has it been tormented to change its original meaning and significance? The term was  first used by the British to describe the Jewish movement to create the independent state of Israel. Irony of ironies, because the result of that terrorism is now a recognized country not only in the middle east, but in the world, by the very western powers that condemned this struggle and termed it terrorism.  President Truman refused to recognize Israel when it was created. The Russians were the first major power to recognize the product of that terrorism. Now, those who described the leaders of this independence movement as terrorists are the greatest supporters of their right to exist and will do anything to perpetuate its existence.

The same phrase “terrorism” is now used by the US, Britain, Canada and Australia to condemn the Tamil violent struggle to confront Sinhalese violent discrimination against them, discrimination which has occurred ever since the British, by granting freedom to the Sinhalese leaders, gave them the ability to do so. The legal protections provided by the British to bar discrimination were unconstitutionally abolished by a racist government led by Mr Bandaranaike in 1972. Discrimination, previously illegally practiced, now became legal. The British Privy Council, which safeguarded the rights of the national minorities, was abolished as  the final court of appeal and was replaced by a biased Sinhalese-oriented Sri Lankan Supreme Court.

After many years of civil war, even  those nations that classified the Tamil independence movement spearheaded by the LTTE as “terrorist” recognized the need of the Government of Sri Lanka to negotiate a devolutionary constitutional set up with the very party those nations classified as terrorist. Their inability to draw the parallel with Israel's war of Independence reveals a clear inability to recognize the similarity of the struggle, till the result, to wit Independence, is fulfilled.

Gandhi, Nehru, the leader of Pakistan  and a host of African leaders who led independence movements were regarded with the same contempt and disapproval as the LTTE is today, till they gained their independence.

Even  today, the LTTE is recognized as the only power capable of granting Tamils freedom from Sinhalese discrimination by every major power. The Sinhalese governments and their supportive media attempt to equate the LTTE with AL Qaeda and other such international entities which challenge western superiority over what they regard as Muslim suppression. Some naive western leaders buy this nonsensical effort. The fact that what is said is repeated incessantly by Sinhalese governments and their loyal media, hardly makes this pathetic claim, true.

The entire Sinhalese government posture rests upon the fallacy that they cannot survive without discrimination. The idea is shocking in its blinding simplicity. Their own parliament has reached a point of complete rupture over this concept.  Parliamentary members who as adventurers joined the government are now running like rabbits in the other direction. The government is out for blood flowing from this frustration and the frustration of the Tamil determination to be autonomous. The President, believing he has a divine right to discriminate, has no hesitation in believing that tyranny is a right he also possesses to execute his objectives. His pretense that an easy tolerance will solve the conflict is unconvincing even to those longing to believe him.

The Tamils who left, not in trickles but in convoys, are now portrayed by the president, not as victims of Sinhalese policy, but as an enemy out to destroy the Sinhalese. The Tamils have never sought to rule their Sinhalese neighbors. All they seek is autonomy and freedom from the Sinhalese quest to perpetuate Tamil dependence on Sinhalese domination.

Furthermore, the Tamils have not in the past and do not now pose any danger to India or any segment of the western world.