Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Beginning the End of War

With the Tamil right to self-determination

by Chivanadi, TamilNet opinion, October 18, 2008

Centuries of historical and geographical heritage, a century-old political legacy of struggle in the colonial and post-colonial times and more than three decades of war have made the right to self determination of Eezham Tamils a foregone conclusion.

Those who claim Sri Lanka is a Sinhala country may well have it happily. But, let them concede Eezham to Tamils peacefully.

All wars end at the negotiation table, but how to end a war?

We don't live in the times of the Second World War when the mere capitulation of Germany, the death of dramatis personae or the surrender of Japan ended the war. Military victory is of no meaning and is a boomerang in our times.

Silavathurai army patrol 2007A suitable postmodern ideology to recognize the rights of peoples and a convincing credibility in its implementation are what count today. The current money crisis of the so-called International Community and of those who have tagged behind has actually nothing to do with economy. It has essentially resulted from the loss of credibility in their global policies. They are losing a war on the global front.

Unfortunately, Sri Lankan president Rajapaksa, his conventional military commanders and the Sinhala chauvinists behind them don't seem to realize the hard truths of contemporary times.

The Sri Lanka president is trying to sell a deceit to Eezham Tamils, Tamil Nadu, India and elsewhere that a political package will be meted out once the LTTE is defeated militarily. There may be organs of vested interests in India to blow up a media image of the president, but people couldn't have forgotten so easily about his talks of a Panjayat Raj solution (village level local government), or of the century-old successive deceits of the Sinhala polity to Tamils.

Can war be stopped by external pressure in our times? Yes, it may be possible in the case of small countries that have already pawned their interests to powers, but it is a half-backed solution.

The surge of agitation to stop the war in Sri Lanka, joined by all political parties in Tamil Nadu, has become a mind-boggling question to many of those who face, as well as watch, the Sri Lankan crisis.

Apart from the spontaneous and genuine sympathy of the people of Tamil Nadu and the political compulsions of parties when elections are around the corner, there are also speculations about hands working behind the present scene in Tamil Nadu, trying as a last resort to nullify the Tamil national question in Sri Lanka by pre-emptive measures of inadequate solutions.

Those who peruse the demands raised by major political parties in Tamil Nadu may notice that the focus is merely on stopping the war, but nothing is said by any on the fundamental issue of the sovereignty of the Tamil nation in the island of Sri Lanka, the question on which war has been thrust upon the Eezham Tamils.

Any meaningful way to end the war and the suffering of the masses in Sri Lanka should, therefore, begin from recognizing the right to self-determination of Eezham Tamils and the integrity of their homeland.

The genuineness of this beginning and guarantees to it only may pave way for positive talks on political modalities, demilitarization and an end of war.

Soon Mahinda will be sending emissaries to Delhi and Chennai to sell the age-old deceit. The political parties in Tamil Nadu and the Tamil groups in the Rajapaksa camp in Sri Lanka should keep in mind that this is not the narrow question of the LTTE, but a question of utmost historical importance not only deciding the fate, well-being and prestige of all Tamils, but also the security of the region.

Whether one likes it or not, the LTTE is a manifestation of a society at a given time, circumstances and compulsions. Its aims are local, confined to its vision of liberation of a people. It is not an international organization with global ambitions for the international community to make a fuss about. The future of the LTTE has to be decided by the very society that created it and not by anybody else.

Centuries of historical and geographical heritage, a century-old political legacy of struggle in the colonial and post-colonial times and more than three decades of war have made the right to self determination of Eezham Tamils a foregone conclusion.

Those who claim Sri Lanka is a Sinhala country may well have it happily. But, let them concede Eezham to Tamils peacefully.