Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Nudist Colony

A rebuttal to The Los Angeles Times

by Roy Ratnavel, February 11, 2009

First, the Tamil freedom struggle is a serious matter – not a jihad against infidels. Tamils know from past experience that one sure way to make your life a series of defeats, miseries, and firings, is to constantly back away from even your most passionately held beliefs. To that end, Tamil Eelam also floated a "Four Ds" plan – Defense, Determination, Dedication and Defiance. 

Second, Sri Lanka is ruled by some nasty people – evil incarnates knowingly preside over the death and destruction of innocent Tamils. The realization of the fact that most industrially developed countries of the world, which have many high-tech weapons at their disposal, committed an insane action; when they agreed to donate their advanced weapons to an aggressive, dangerous, uncontrollable and genocidal government. Tamils hope hell has particularly spiky barstools reserved for such tyrants.

In the outset, I would like to say that there is no denying the Tigers have lost significant ground and they are against considerable odds. But to say that Tigers are done forever is a bit presumptuous, to say the least.

At the risk of sounding like a cockeyed optimist or a romantic fool, I am compelled to respond the article regarding the Sri Lankan assault on the Tamil heartland [Sri Lanka Closes in on Tamil Tiger Rebels, February 7, 2009]. While the article highlighted some interesting and important points, I would like to draw attention to the following statement – “The pocket of land they are now boxed in to, by some accounts as small as 30 square miles, is a sandy area with limited vegetation and few places to hide.” Contrary to this claim, as someone who is very familiar with this region, I can assure you that there are numerous jungle hideouts and a hostile population for the Tamil Tigers to wage war for a long time to come.

Against this backdrop, more than ever, I am now convinced that many journalists have never been to the current battle zone – as it is also well known that the government is not allowing anyone there – but these same journalists have managed to give certainty to the 'End of Tigers' outcome after reading Sri Lanka's own press clippings, without actually knowing the ground reality.

Simple rule of thumb: When you're not let in, it’s a sign that there’s something they want to hide. Although shot by a different Director and played by different actors, we are seeing the same movie for the fourth time – but, I am afraid the end will be the same.

This is where the cockeyed optimist part of the argument comes in: Except for taking pictures of carefully evacuated Tiger towns and bunkers, so far Sri Lanka has not yet show any substantial evidence to support its monumental claims to its punch-drunk citizens and naïve Western audiences. Before the war, Sri Lanka claimed that there were 30,000 Tigers. Recently the Sri Lankan defense ministry stated that there are only 1,000 Tigers left to fight. A quick, back of the napkin calculation tells me that means 29,000 bodies are missing. This means either I am stupid, or Sri Lanka should be incredibly proud of its magician-like morticians. Moreover, where are the Tiger fleet of seagoing naval vessels, heavy artilleries, tanks and more importantly – the planes? As far as I can remember, the Tiger Chief was accused of many things, but no one ever accused him of being an illusionist like David Copperfield.

Here, perhaps is the romantic fool part: Tiger crouches, only to pounce later as the old Tamil saying goes. Col. Hariharan will certainly attest to this, as his ‘Indian army’ once received a bloody nose from a barrage of Tiger mauling during the period 1987 to 1990. From his angry statements these days, I suspect that the wound still hasn’t healed yet. 1995 was eerily similar when the Tigers were driven out of Jaffna and similar eulogies were written. Since then many Sri Lankan Presidents, Defense Ministers and military commanders have come and gone, and some are sadly not alive today to share their much-needed experience.

Human history shows that the winners of wars are those who sound their belief or barbaric yawps over the rooftops of the world, while the losers are the ones who cannot express themselves without apology. It is clear that the West so badly wants to be on the roof, thump its chest and bask in glory so it can for once and for all end its scoreless streak in the ‘war on terror’ game, and is looking for a humiliating, Saddam Hussein end to the Tamil freedom struggle.

At this juncture I am reminded of another Tamil proverb: Even when faced with hunger, a Tiger will never eat grass. I reckon it will more likely to be a Tiger out of its den as opposed to a spider-hole with a bearded, disgraced leader. The recent Sri Lankan military debacle in Puthukkudiyiruppu (PTK) – which was well hidden by Sri Lanka from the world, is one such example which resulted in the loss of more than one thousand Sri Lankan soldiers. Box them up, and then cut them down strategy is in full motion [http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=28326].

Any war is supposed to be a lesson. If it does not teach people anything, it means that the battles of that war were wasted as well as those people’s lives, who died in the battles. I think there are two lessons here.

First, the Tamil freedom struggle is a serious matter – not a jihad against infidels. Tamils know from past experience that one sure way to make your life a series of defeats, miseries, and firings, is to constantly back away from even your most passionately held beliefs. To that end, Tamil Eelam also floated a "Four Ds" plan – Defense, Determination, Dedication and Defiance. 

Second, Sri Lanka is ruled by some nasty people – evil incarnates knowingly preside over the death and destruction of innocent Tamils. The realization of the fact that most industrially developed countries of the world, which have many high-tech weapons at their disposal, committed an insane action; when they agreed to donate their advanced weapons to an aggressive, dangerous, uncontrollable and genocidal government. Tamils hope hell has particularly spiky barstools reserved for such tyrants.

If it weren't so serious and tragic, it might be amusing that since the beginning of its independence from the British in 1948, the ‘Hawkish’ leaders of Sri Lanka who ran the country have made a disastrous mess from which no easy escape beckons. In the absence of overwhelming and fundamental political change there, peace will never be possible. Unless, and until Sri Lanka can produce leaders who can realize that truth, and are willing to act on it, it will continue to be dismembered by conflict, long after the Tamil Tigers have passed into history. Sadly, something tells me that we will be having this conversation for another 30 years.

Political opponents, insufficiently loyal followers, independent journalists and people of the wrong ethnic background have a habit of winding up dead, imprisoned or in exile from this 'Democratic' Sri Lanka. Against this backdrop, other than the brainwashed or the brain-dead, it is hard these days to find any sane person who feels recent Sri Lankan military advancement is a matter for rejoicing.

Journalists are amazing people. They think can guess and even predict the outcome of a war even before the facts are in. I do see a big difference, however, between Hollywood-type articles and that of Sri Lankan fakery. The concern I have for the particular manipulation of the latter kind is the unimaginable carnage it levied on innocent Tamils. There are other people too that are even more amazing than journalists – they are Sri Lankan thug politicians masquerading as defenders of democracy and eradicators of terror, but they hardly ever tell the truth.

Warren Buffet – smartest investment mind of our time once lamented: “Only when the tide goes out, you will know who is swimming naked.” History has shown Tamils over and over again that the Sri Lankan capital is a nudist colony.

roy_ratnavel@hotmail.com