Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Third Choice

by Ram Mohan, March 13, 2010

The outcome in May 2009 for Eelam National Liberation was so because the Sri Lankan government united all the Establishments of the world behind it whereas the Tamils did not have any friend. We need to reverse it before the next round, as otherwise; there will be NO THIRD CHOICE...

Unity can be developed only on the basis that what is good for us should be good for others. We cannot have different values and develop unity.

A common misconcept  is in fixing “Time Frames” forgetting that all developments are “Cause and Effect Frames.” A Diaspora leader , when referring to a particular pathway, once said that “in this way Liberation is not possible in my life time” and the only response was for him to think what his children would say. Without worrying about time frames, we should clearly know what the OUTCOME we want and then work towards it as best as possible on the basis of all available knowledge and resources. Equitability among all oppressed Nations and oppressed peoples and equally important within Nations should be the guideline in DEVELOPING THE UNITY OF THE OPPRESSED NATIONS AND OPPRESSED PEOPLES. This is the Third Choice in the multi polar world without being pro that power or anti this power.

Democracy has been confined to two choices almost universally. In the US the choice is between Republicans and Democrats. In the UK it is between Labour and Conservatives.  Labour and Liberals in Australia; Liberal and conservative in Canada; Labour Party and National Party in New Zealand; UNP and SLFP in Sri Lanka; Congress and BJP in India; and so the list goes on. If you look at the essential features, all these parties are pro Establishment Parties and the differences between the two parties in any pair are marginal. In reality they are not alternatives. Some call the choice as between the Devil and the Deep Sea; others call it between the rock and a hard surface. Someone joked it as a choice between a horse and a donkey.

The conditions are such that it is difficult for minor parties to develop and people rarely get a third choice. Many countries now adopt proportional representation supposedly to give a stronger voice to minorities and smaller Nations but in reality fix a high threshold % of votes to get representation that up to 5% of the population cannot elect a member and even then you are discouraged voting for a smaller party saying that you are helping the wrong candidate to win.

Independents and non-recognized parties are even discouraged from contesting by requiring large sums of money as deposits whereas recognized parties do not have to pay any deposit. Even when a smaller party has few seats, it can only be tagged to a major party as a coalition partner resulting in loss of identity and probably recognition in the next election.

The smaller parties are not only discouraged thus but even sponsorship by major companies and by capital itself is directed to the major parties that not only speak for the Establishment but also are capable of forming the government and return the favour to strengthen the Establishment further. Democracy itself has been interpreted by many as the presence of two parties or two coalition system with periodic elections with press freedom which is really freedom for the owners of the press to promote their own interest. Thus Democracy has come to mean the “free market” dividing into two groups and employing two sets of politicians to hoodwink the people to promote the interest of the Establishment or the Capital. An Australian National University Professor once said that Democracy is the right to visit the polling booths once in three or four years but visit the supermarket daily. Who said that the Democracy is the rule of the people by the people for the people?    

The Digital mentality has reduced “Democracy” to a counting of numbers though this is acceptable for relationship within a likeminded group or a Nation. It is difficult for them, even for supposed to be independent journalists, to understand that when it comes to relationships between Nations, Democracy is on the basis of right of Self Determination of Nations. They simply cannot think beyond two group of companies competing and therefore deny a third choice even if that is from a different, and what is worse oppressed, Nation. Democracy, they say, is the choice between the two parties or two coalitions in the Dominant Nation because what they see is the capital being concentrated in the dominant Nation.

Earlier they used to say that there was no democracy in the one party states forgetting that they also had a digital choice of saying “Yes or NO” to a list of candidates probably because they thought there was no capitalism in those countries. It took sometimes for everyone to realize that the economic structures of those countries were State Capitalism and not public ownership. Soon it was understood that there is no difference between monopoly capitalism in the “Democracies” and the State Capitalism of the “undemocracies” and they stopped calling the one Party States as dictatorships. Monopoly Capitalism and State Capitalism began to develop similar diseases of Decay and soon anti monopoly laws were enacted in the “democracies” and State Capitalism in the other countries was transformed into State Controlled Capitalism with room for non state initiatives. Thus common ground was discovered and there is no more quarrel between democracy and dictatorship.

But the Third Party, namely the people, are suffering everywhere WITHOUT A THIRD CHOICE though enjoying different levels of bribes and misinformation which are carefully planned and delivered to keep the people divided. The THIRD CHOICE is possible only if people move away from the “Free Market cum Monopoly Capital” of the Free World (also called First World or Western democracies) and away from the “State Capital cum State Controlled Capital” (also called the Second World or Socialist Countries) TOWARDS a peoples’ PUBLIC OWNERSHIP MODEL. The Third World (also called Non Aligned Countries or Mixed Economies) survived so long as the two camp Bipolar World existed. All these were political alignments without the corresponding changes in Economic structures and hence had to collapse.  The subsequent short lived Uni polar World (between the two Iraqi wars) and the current Multi Polar world are also political arrangements without any real change in the Economic structures and hence not sustainable in the long run or even in the Medium run. Even the current State Control of the “Free World” by way of various “STIMULUS FORMULAE” to overcome or postpone the current Economic Crisis or a possible combination (of all Establishments in the World, 1st,2nd and 3rd world countries) will not result in any sustainability because THEY ARE NOT CONSIDERING any real change in the Economic Structure as such change is counter to the interests of the Establishments.

The THIRD CHOICE for the Third Party (People) is  possible  only with a fundamental shift towards a new Economic Structure of Public Ownership (Socialism) which cannot be undertaken without the completion of National Liberation Movements which is possible only when all Nations without State (including the Eelam Tamil Nation) achieve independent State power or “genuinely shared” State power. The motive behind all the Establishments blocking the completion of National Liberation Movement is to prevent people moving towards Socialism. Although the Forces of the Establishments seem very Formidable, the STATUS QUO cannot last long  as the internal contradictions among the Establishments on issues such as the Economic crises and Environmental issues such as climate change need to be resolved in the here and now. The Nations without State and other oppressed peoples need to unite themselves and make use of the difference in resolving their internal contradictions among the Establishments rather than being made use of by the Establishments. Whether the status quo will remain in favour of the Establishments  or will change in favour of the oppressed peoples will simply depend on the STRENGTH of the unity of the Establishments or the unity of the oppressed peoples.

The outcome in May 2009 for Eelam National Liberation was so because the Sri Lankan government united all the Establishments of the world behind it whereas the Tamils did not have any friend. We need to reverse it before the next round, as otherwise; there will be NO THIRD CHOICE.

The Unity of the oppressed Nations without State and the oppressed peoples is easily seen and said than achieved. In all struggles and wars, the oppressors are united to the maximum as has been in the war against the Iraqi people or the war against the Afghan people  or against the Tamil people in Sri Lanka where 20 governments joined together to crush the LTTE. The need for the unity of the oppressed people in the face of the unprecedented unity of the oppressor is clearly seen and even advocated.  But the achievement of that unity of the oppressed Nations without State and the oppressed peoples remains a distant dream because the oppressors have ensured a wide variety of divisions among the people by carefully planned bribes and misinformation. The most dangerous misinformation is telling the oppressed to accept the bribes ( it is really concessions which are really far less than what is due to us and not to be confused with commissions for “services” rendered) and lead a “peaceful” (i.e. NON RESISTANT) life. This is what the ICG, the West and India are preaching the Eelam Tamils (particularly the Diaspora) and earlier this task was left to the religions and churches of all varieties. The bribes include higher standard of living and welfare payments in developed or first world to charity and fringe benefits and payments for agency services including intelligence in the less developed world. The misinformation starts with what is due to people and that is highly underestimated so that people will be easily satisfied with the bribes on offer and next step is to tell the people that they can never get what is due to them. So the first line of campaign against the establishment is to tell the people what is due to them and the next line is to say that it is possible to achieve them with a strong unity of the oppressed peoples. What is due to people will be very difficult to arrive at and communicate particularly because the terms of international trade is biased in favour of the oppressive former imperialists, the value of labour is biased in favour of the developed first world and in favour of the intellectual and managerial labour mostly in the third world and even in the second world. It is worthwhile to note that human rights and even value of lives vary very much in different contexts. The way the “free media” reports the number killed, one life in the first world appears more important than 1000 lives in the third world.  There are no minimum or codified values of Human Rights which are universally applicable. It is quite common to note that the “Human Rights” in the third world is less than the animal/pet rights in the first world. Even within the 2nd and 3rd worlds, the importance of Human Rights is related to the political importance to the first world. When 50000 Tamils are killed in 5 months in Sri Lanka, the White House may not even know. But Tibet and Zimbabwe may receive the highest concern even without any deaths. We cannot go into all the details but salient features should not be ignored. In the present context, the Right of Self Determination of A Nation is a fundamental one just as for an individual the right to be employed and enjoy life accordingly is a fundamental Human Right more important than freedom of speech and democracy and the like. Unity can be developed only on the basis that what is good for us should be good for others. We cannot have different values and develop unity.

A common misconcept  is in fixing “Time Frames” forgetting that all developments are “Cause and Effect Frames” A Diaspora leader , when referring to a particular pathway, once said that “in this way Liberation is not possible in my life time” and the only response was for him to think what his children would say. Without worrying about time frames, we should clearly know what the OUTCOME we want and then work towards it as best as possible on the basis of all available knowledge and resources. Equitability among all oppressed Nations and oppressed peoples and equally important within Nations should be the guideline in DEVELOPING THE UNITY OF THE OPPRESSED NATIONS AND OPPRESSED PEOPLES. This is the Third Choice in the multi polar world without being pro that power or anti this power.

Ram Mohan