Sivaram - Death of a Warrior

by S Sathananthan, May 1, 2005

Mr Dharmaratnam Sivaram's murder is tragic; but it was not unexpected - certainly not by him.

He joins the list of heroic Tamil activists who stood up against the moribund Sinhala State in Sri Lanka always ready to pay the highest price.  Tamil politician Mr Kumar Ponnambalam was killed in Colombo in 2000; and Tamil journalists Mr Mylvaganam Nimalrajan and Mr G Nadesan were executed in Jaffna (2000) and in Batticaloa (2004).

Mr Sivaram is the most recent victim of the pathological death-squad politics of Sinhala chauvinists.

He championed Tamil nationalism.  He rose magnificently to that most hazardous task of defending the national rights of Tamils.

What antagonised Sinhala chauvinism most is that Mr Sivaram employed Lenin's dictum to devastating effect.  He confined himself to describing what is actually happening; he did not engage in impotent speculations about possibilities.

In this way his writings systematically exposed the hidden agenda of the rabidly anti-Tamil Sinhala State in Sri Lanka.

As before, almost all Tamil observers and analysts are accusing the Sinhala security forces and their vassals, the Tamil paramilitary mercenaries.  By extension, they are holding Sinhala President Chandrika Kumaratunga directly responsible for the murder.

To accuse the President and her government is appropriate but it misses the point.  The murder was done in a way that would leave no doubt at all as to who carried it out.

Mr Sivaram's body was dumped in the high security zone surrounding the national Parliament.  The reason is obvious. If his body were found elsewhere in a location that could not be clearly linked to the security forces then there would be doubts about who perpetrated the crime.

It is precisely to wipe out any doubt whatsoever that his corpse was deliberately placed in the high security zone.  The Sinhala State sent a chilling message to all Tamils, that its own Sinhala security forces murdered Mr Sivaram.

The State was not so brazen when it had Ponnambalam, Nimalrajan and Nadesan executed.  The modus operandi did not directly point to the Sinhala security forces.

Mr Sivaram's case is different.  Here the Sinhala State has delivered a brutal warning to Tamils activists.  It is a pure act of State terrorism - to terrorise the Tamil people, to silence critical Tamil opinion.

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Posted May 2, 2005