Ilankai Tamil Sangam

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

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Sow the Wind and Reap the Whirlwind

by S. Makenthiran, B.A., FCCA

We, the internally displaced people of Jaffna district, have reached the limit of our patience.

The dust is settling in Sri Lanka after the presidential elections victory of Mahinda Rajapakse and the Heroes; Day speech by the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabaharan.  The leaders of the Singhalese and Tamils respectively, have stated their future policies.  It is apparent that the country is facing a grim future.

Now, more than ever before, it looks that the division of the country into Singhalese Sri Lanka and Tamil Eelam is moving inexorably closer to reality.  The two nations idea has now become closer to realisation.  How far away can we be from a unilateral declaration of independence?

Certain facts have come to be realized from the last Presidential elections.  The two communities or nations that inhabit the island have moved away from each other. We have to get used to the fact that we are living as two nations.  Only the territory remains to be defined.  The LTTE is in control of about 70% of the traditional homeland of the Tamils in the Northeast Province, or Eelam as it is called.

The ethnic problem is a creation of the Singhalese leadership from the very year of independence.  The laws passed to deprive the Upcountry Tamils of their citizenship, the Singhala Only Act to deprive the Eelam Tamils of their language rights, and the series of massacre of Tamils by the Singhalese mobs and armed forces are all history.  The organs of the government, notably the Singhalese-dominated judiciary, are instruments of Tamil persecution.  The Tamil people no longer can or wish to live under Singhalese domination.

The sad truth that has emerged is that none of the Singhalese leaders can be trusted. Mahinda Rajapakse, the JVP, JHU and SU are all outspoken anti-Tamil  Singhalese chauvinists.  The Tamils, or at  least the intelligentsia, had harboured hopes that Ranil Wickremasinghe would be a Tamil friendly leader, who could settle the ethnic problem.  To our dismay, at the last moment Milinda Moragoda and Navin Dissanayake let the cat out of the bag.  The truth came out that even Ranil cannot be trusted, as he was engrossed in creating an international safety net, and splitting up the LTTE rather than settling the ethnic problem in a reasonable way.

The Tamil and Muslim paramilitaries are a source of danger to the peace and prosperity of the country.  The Singhalese government, or at least Military Intelligence, are making a serious mistake in encouraging and unleashing them on the Tamil civilian population and the LTTE.  Even Ranil Wickremasinghe succumbed to the temptation when he was Prime Minister and made the terrible blunder of retaining Douglas Devananda and his EPDP cadres on the government payroll.

The Singhalese hard line elements presume that by encouraging and sustaining those opposed to LTTE, they can overwhelm the Tamils.  Douglas Devanada, Karuna, Anandasangari and their supporters can create some ripples now and then, but they cannot make an impact on the Tamil population.  They are seen as traitors and nothing more. 

The Tamils are inexorably marching towards nationhood and their own state.  The Tamil Eelam Administration has its own army, navy, air force, police force, judiciary, taxation, banks, media, health and education services.  The areas of the Tamil homeland under government control are like an open air prison similar to Gaza when it was under Israeli occupation.  The alien Singhalese armed forces and police are an army of occupation oppressing the Tamil people.  To add insult to injury they conduct government business in the Singhalese language, which is unknown to the indigenous Tamil population.

It is unfortunate that the army of occupation and police are entirely made up of Singhalese.  The situation would have been different if the armed forces and police contained sufficient Tamils.  As it is now, the polarization is complete.

Mahinda Rajapakse declared that he wants all Sri Lankans to be able to live in any part of Sri Lanka.  To start with, the Tamils should demand that he government resettle the Tamils in areas in NorthEast, from which they have been uprooted.  The Tamil areas of Manal Aru, Kinniya, Tricomalee and Batticaloa should be resettled by the Tamil refugees from their ancestral lands.  The merger of the NorthEast Province is non negotiable.

It is unfortunate that, at this point in time, those in control of the Sri Lankan government are all extremists.  President Mahinda Rajapakse, Prime Minister Ratnasri Wickremanayake, Chief of Defence Staff  Admiral Daya Sandagiri, Army Commander  Sarath Fonseka are all well known, outspoken, hard line Singhalese.  The parties supporting them are also extremist, the JVP, JHU and SU.  Under these circumstances, the ceasefire can easily break down.

There is no justification for the Tamils to be kept out of their lands and homes in the High Security Zones.  The Singhalese army of occupation should vacate Tamil property forthwith.  The patience of the Tamil displaced is coming to an end after four years of ceasefire.  Agitation by the Tamil people is causing tension in the Tamil province.

In the last few days there have been about thirty deaths, including civilians and 18 from the Singhalese armed forces.  Both the armed forces and LTTE say that they the killings were not done by them.  The shadow war can become open war at any time.

A warning by the High Security Zone Residents' Liberation Force –

Tamil Eelam

For Immediate Release

07 December 2005

“High Security Zone Residents' Liberation Force will continue its armed campaign until all military personal vacate the High Security Zone. We the internally displaced people of Jaffna district have reached the limit of our patience. As a result we have decided to wage an armed campaign against the occupying Sinhala Army to liberate our homes.

The Sinhala Army under the pretext of High Security Zone occupies almost 32% of the Jaffna district. Over 300,000 of us have been vacated from our homes to accommodate the existence of this unnecessary zone. It is widely known that subsequent to our displacement from the Valigamam region of Jaffna district in 1989, we have suffered unimaginable hardships as refugees living on roadsides, in schools, churches and cattle sheds while being denied the basic of human rights.

During the past 16 years, the successive governments of Sri Lanka, neither the international community nor the 100s of international Non-Governmental Organizations have given the slightest of thought to our plight. On the contrary the international community, diplomats and international press are conducting politics in a manner that suits their interests.

After witnessing several political maneuvers during the past 16 years, we have arrived at the conclusion that the Sinhala forces will not withdraw from our homes under any peaceful circumstances. Further, we have come to the realization that the only way to regain our lost homes, businesses and public places is to physically expel the occupying forces.

In order to realise our objective of returning to our homes, a decision was made by the suffering people to join hands and form the High Security Zone Residents' Liberation Force and to declare war on the occupying forces.

We who are willing to sacrifice our lives for the liberation of our Mother Land would like to kindly request the soldiers who are currently occupying our land to return to their homes and live happily with their families, while allowing us to do the same. Should the occupying forces not heed to our request, we will have no other option but to continue with our armed campaign to liberate our homes.

We would like to reiterate our commitment to the armed struggle by highlighting the fact that in recent days our forces have conducted several successful perations in which at least 15 Sinhala Army soldiers have been killed.”

The above is an ominous warning by the displaced Tamils. The powers that be would do well to see the writing on the wall.