Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Development and Context of Eelam National Liberation

by Ram Mohan, February 7, 2010

TNA and Diaspora should not make the same mistake again though the timeframe for the next phase of the Liberation struggle cannot be defined. The Presidential election 2010 has shown clearly that even semi devolution of power (not to mention recognition of the right of Self Determination) is unlikely by negotiation. Now that the sharing of spoils of war has been decided locally, the international powers will be concerned with their shares and not the well being of Eelam Tamils.

While Eelam National Liberation captures the emotions of most Eelam Tamils and even World Tamils, there are many outsiders and even some Tamils who do not have a clear understanding of it. Unless all the emotions resonate, they also could be counterproductive. Resonance in nature takes place when the induced frequency is the same as the natural frequency. In social life also, ideas become a material force if masses accept them as their own. This becomes possible only when Development of ideas match the Context. Both Development and Context imply Change.

If one avoids both ends to avoid speculation of the unknown, Evolution is a series of changes based on survival determined by resistance. It is a cause and effect frame and not a time frame. Evolution of man is based on collectivism, language and technology.  When collectivism, language and technology interacted to reach an advanced mode of production called capitalism, evolution of Nations began. Thus a Nation is defined as a historical evolution of a community based on distinct territory, language, technology (economy) and culture. This period corresponded to about 12th, 13th centuries and it is to be noted that till about 1000 AD, earth’s resources were enough to provide for independent individual or tribal living. The Industrial Revolution facilitated the development of capitalism and the uneven distribution of resources resulted in uneven development of capitalism. Stronger Nations captured weaker Nations including Eelam and Sinhalam to be exploited for obtaining raw materials and for selling manufactured goods. The first phase of globalization in the form of advancing imperialism was completed when the whole world was shared between the imperialist powers and the first and second world wars were about redistributing the colonies. The resistance to this globalization produced the Russian Revolution of 1917 which developed to the extent of being the major player in ending the Second World War. Added to this the emergence of China after the war was a warning bell to the imperialist powers and the “free for all” oppression became a conscious planned oppression. 

Countries whose borders were drawn without any consideration to the Nations constituting those countries, were given “independence” often without a struggle as in the then “Ceylon” and political power was transferred to the dominant Nations of the countries while the economic power was retained by the imperialist powers.  It is to be noted that imperialism has been divided with the political component mainly in the hands of dominant Nations of countries with the economic component in the hands of the former imperialist powers. Thus the foundation was laid for the dominant Nations with State power and other Nations without State to enter into civil wars while the economic domination of the world continues with least resistance. Is it any wonder that the dominant Nations of India, Pakistan, China and indeed the entire third world develop a bond with the Government of Sri Lanka whose dominant Nation is Sinhalam? Is it not foolishness on the part of Eelam Tamils to expect justice from the Western governments who masterminded the conflicts in their own interest or from Delhi, Beijing and similar whose dominant Nations have oppressed other Nations in varying degrees?  Of course these centers of power have contradictions among themselves and we need to make use of them but we cannot do that by tailing behind any power and more importantly we should have a strong friendly alliance with all oppressed Nations without State and other oppressed peoples.

The conscious plan for oppression by the imperialism did not stop with the above design alone.  They knew that the power of the Socialist Countries (it was not Socialism but State Capitalism with better income distribution) need to be curtailed. They succeeded by undermining the bureaucracy of the Socialist countries by various carrot and stick methods and promoting the Globalization of capital. The dominance of the globalised capital is indeed the second phase of globalization. Thus the “free market capital” of the imperialist countries joined hands with the State capital of the Socialist countries under globalised capital and during the first Iraq war, a unipolar world was established and the Bipolar world of the cold war days was history. A unipolar world with full of contradictions is unstable and by the time of the second Iraq war a multi polar world was emerging. The environmental crisis and the current economic recession have made the multi polar world irreversible. More of the multi polar powers are outside the West which is certainly a declining force. In a multi polar setting, we should have relationship with all powers but should not tail behind any power and certainly not behind the declining one. Also the neighboring power could be more dangerous due to proximity which the Vietnamese realized in time. But the multi polar setting is certainly good for the smaller ones and in particular to the Nations without State.

The Eelam National struggle started as a peaceful political resistance as soon as the Sinhalam began to exercise the political imperialism it got from the imperialists and demonstrated with depriving citizenship to one million Tamils and with the colonization of the Tamil homeland.  The peaceful resistance was suppressed for 30 years violently by State terrorism and chauvinist hooliganism with regular racial riots ignored by the international community but intensifying all the time resulting in armed resistance. The armed resistance was initially a reaction to the chauvinist ethnic hooliganism and state terrorism and naturally the resistance had similar dimension but soon developed as a Liberation movement and the targets were confined to economic and military targets. However though this transformation placed the LTTE on the wrong side of the West and India, the reliance of the traditional Tamil political leadership on the West and India, gave the wrong impression of the Liberation movement to the rest of the world. A situation arose when the west and India banned the LTTE and stopped supplies while the rest of the world (though did not block supplies to LTTE) politically took the side of the government of Sri Lanka. Thus the Liberation movement became friendless in the external world except Diaspora (whose hands were tied) support and this led to the defeat of the LTTE by the government of Sri Lanka with the backing of 20 powerful governments.

TNA and Diaspora should not make the same mistake again though the timeframe for the next phase of the Liberation struggle cannot be defined. The Presidential election 2010 has shown clearly that even semi devolution of power (not to mention recognition of the right of Self Determination) is unlikely by negotiation. Now that the sharing of spoils of war has been decided locally, the international powers will be concerned with their shares and not the well being of Eelam Tamils.

The Right of Self Determination of Eelam Tamils  is naturally linked with the right of Self Determination of all Nations without State which are claimed to number around 3000 to 9000 but two  hundreds and ten of them have been well documented in a book published by James Minahan (compare with 192 countries in UN).  The recognition of the right of Self Determination of all Nations in the world is the next major Destination on the critical path (need to be achieved to move towards other subsequent Destinations) of civilization eliminating oppression of Nations by other Nations.  However this does not eliminate other forms of oppression. National Liberation is essentially a Political Process (guaranteeing political power to the Nation)  to be followed by Economic Liberation ending economic oppression and establishment of a Socialist Society which is a further advancement in the interaction among Collectivism, Language and Technology. Further interaction would lead to Communism and Fellowship of beings and things leading to the contradiction free Destination of Merger as One, the ultimate expression of collectivism. Even if there are disagreements about subsequent Destinations including “ultimate” Liberation but if there is agreement about the nearest Destination we should unite with all such agreeable forces. If Socialists, Communists, Spiritualists including Liberation Theologists agree on the question of National Liberation, then we should develop unity and solidarity with all of them.

The immediate physical survival of Eelam Tamils (who are either IDP’s or in open prison under occupation) and the ultimate recognition of the right of Self Determination are twin priorities. The sixty year struggle of Eelam Tamils is silenced for the time being and it is the duty of the Diaspora to assist in reducing that “time being”.  The Diaspora is living in multicultural countries and has to fall in line with the laws of those countries but have a stake in the Eelam Tamil Nation as well as the Tamilnadu Tamil Nation (the only Tamil Nations in the world) because they are the sources of multi culturalism of the Diaspora. National Development and governance is possible only in these two Nations with territories historically. There is no room for transnational government but a strong and powerful world body is urgently needed. The GTF should fulfill this need and if those in charge cannot deliver, they should let others.  If you can neither lead nor follow, please get out.


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