Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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The UN, Self-Determination and Terrorism

by K. Gunaseelan, August 20, 2008

Once ‘terrorism’ has won then it is not called terrorism, thus giving meaning to the popular statement ‘terrorism has never won!’...

The UN is, in fact, a small community consisting of powerful leaders of nations and they act only to serve their own interest to enjoy luxury, extravagance, and power, in the name of humanity, human rights and people. What hypocrisy! Such attractive slogans and banners and charters are only cheating the deprived and oppressed people, deceiving them ...

You should never define ‘human rights’ but if you do, then you must uphold it vigorously, if not you are bound to have ‘terrorism’ in your hands.

The world is now gripped with ‘terroristic’ violence and I feel the fault lies to a very great extent with the lack of action by the UN. Much of the violence is related to the freedom struggle of collective groups of people.  It is on the strength of the UN’s own charter, which expresses ‘the right to self-determination,’ that people of various identities and ethnic races are fighting a battle to win that right and feel justified even to use ‘terrorism’ as a means to obtain their rights. In any event the UN does not stand by its own commitment towards the basic rights of people. It is now clear the UN does not appear willing to implement such attractive commitments they have promised to uphold, adorning merely as an ornament only to protect their own very existence, as an expensive club for the powerful and mighty. History has shown the UN takes action only in countries which are against the great powers, or when ‘terrorism’ seems to have succeeded.

The non-implementation of the UN charter of the right of self-determination seems to be the one of the root causes of the terrorism found widespread today. To comment on terrorism, however there does not seem to be any unbiased definition so far.  It is heavily weighted towards the oppressed and favours the aggressor. So much so, (Sir) Peter Ustinov has aptly described “Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.”

The UN, with its declared stand on ‘right to self determination,’ should have forthrightly rewarding these people’s rights without fear or favour and without any problems, but if it does not, then such people have a right to fight to obtain those rights. You can call ‘terrorism’ by various names to suit various purposes; it is all in the eye of the beholder. Liberation struggle, freedom struggle, freedom fighters, war against state, people’s war and so on, but the current terminology endorses calling the violence of non-state actors 'terrorism.  Once ‘terrorism’ has won then it is not called terrorism, thus giving meaning to the popular statement ‘terrorism has never won!’

It is on such an understanding and the strength of the UN’s charter, various ethnic identities are fighting terrible wars against the main state, including the use of ‘terrorism’ if you like to call it so, to win their ‘right’, in case if not rewarded as a matter of basic justice. People believe the ultimate custodian and authority for human justice, dignity, and fundamental rights is the UN, and its charter defines, underwrites, and upholds such pledges.  

I can speak on behalf of the Tamils of this island; the progress of these developments I have been following from the very start. Tamils had been ruling the North & East, they hold a contiguous territory in which they are the majority and practice their own unique tradition and culture.  Tamils felt they are entitled for that birthright to the land which now been lost to the Sinhalese because of foreign domination who amalgamated their territory with that of the Sinhalese and when the colonial rulers left they gave it as a single country and Sinhalese being the overall majority took control of both territories. With the background of Sinhala hegemony, discrimination, colonization and anti-Tamil violence, Tamils want to regain their lost land through their rights clearly enshrined in the UN charter.

But it was thereafter the Tamils realized such charters were mere a deception which only served the purposes for its (the UN’s) very own expensive existence! Such charters are only there to protect the UN, but not the deprived people which the UN has claimed to protect. Without such attractive charters, there is no reason why the UN should be in existence! The UN is, in fact, a small community consisting of powerful leaders of nations and they act only to serve their own interest to enjoy luxury, extravagance, and power, in the name of humanity, human rights and people. What hypocrisy! Such attractive slogans and banners and charters are only cheating the deprived and oppressed people, deceiving them to believe that the UN truly accepts such principles as the right to rule the land a people occupies. When denied those basic rights, these people believe any means is justifiable to win their birthright. 

I honestly think this UN has caused much harm and damage to the world at large and is responsible for many of serious human right violations. It is clear to me, the UN is lending itself  only to pamper, sustain, and protect certain powerful nations and their crony nations, at the expense of terrible damage to all other ordinary people. The UN is only for a few rulers and not for the vast majority of ordinary people. We could see how inhumanely the UN acted in the case of Iraq. It was very partial to the USA. I need not elaborate here because the silent onlookers like us know very well what the UN was up to in the conflict of Iraq. Justice was never done to Iraq; The UN is singularly responsible for the deaths of so many innocent men, women and children of Iraq. When Iraq went to war with Kuwait that was labeled ‘crime against humanity’ and Iraq was severely punished by the UN, but when USA attacked Iraq without the approval of the UN and no weapons of mass destruction was ever found, the very reason for the war against Iraq, it was construed a case of ‘very bad misadventure’ and the USA is allowed to go scot free! It was only a play with words, but justice never played here; it is simply genocide and mass murder of the Iraqi people hiding under cover of justice committed by the UN through their sanctions, and embargo of essential items! Equality before the law is the bedrock of justice, otherwise call it in any other name besides justice.

If the UN cannot stand by their own charter, then they must take it down as it is on the strength of this very charter  the ‘minorities’ gather moral strength to fight for the rights to their land and feel justified to fight when denied to such rights. Retaining such slogans, charters, and commitments to which the UN has no intention to implement only ends in encouraging ‘terrorism’.

You should never define ‘human rights’ but if you do, then you must uphold it vigorously, if not you are bound to have ‘terrorism’ in your hands.

During the colonial days there was no problem, we accepted the rule of the colonial masters as no one ever defined ‘human rights.’ We all gracefully accepted our fate. Then, after the world war, the UN was established and defined ‘human rights’ and the ‘right to self determination’ - those very attractive catch phrases - which they never intended to defend, and have end in the scourge  of ‘terrorism’ the world has to grapple with today! The only solution is the dismantling of the UN, which will clear the world of many ills and the world will be a happier place to live in! The UN has outlived its purpose, and the world does not need such bully clubs. I ’s time to bring the curtains down on the UN.