Ilankai Tamil Sangam

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

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by Chandi Sinnathurai, Easter 2006

Ah, but until ‘the rubber hits the road,’ the pragmatic unanswered question remains: Who will hold the purse strings?

In the final analysis: Profit-making is the essence of democracy.

Half-empty or half-full glass: It boils down to how you view things.  On the bright side, in spite of looming war clouds, Tamil Eelam is an inevitable reality. 

The GoSL (Sri Lanka Government), the US and the EU are grudging to recognise the reality openly.  In the intervening time, of course, they will do all that is in their power to tighten the screws.  The whole idea is to starve the Tamil Resistance movement of its oxygen. Alongside covert operations, monitoring and blocking the flow of finances and shipments of defence equipment, and hindering the flow of real information, on the one hand, is the order of the day. On the other hand, disseminating disinformation in order to encourage Tamil quisling armed factions, the LTTE renegade Karuna faction in particular, to have a free-hand in forming themselves as “credible” alternative voices is in the cards.  In short, this is a classic divide and rule tactic.  It’s a ‘diamond cut diamond’ policy. 

Rumour has it that renegade Karuna is being tutored in Chennai by some ‘veterans’ as to how to win hearts and minds in the Eastern province. Such hysteria might make Karuna the prime candidate for the post of global village idiot. The current climate, nevertheless, seems best suited for double-crossers and turncoats! 

The long-term working hypothesis of the West, however, is to intimidate the LTTE as a proscribed terror group and to shun it from all international forums. This proscribed “Pariah status,” coupled with a travel ban slapped on its forehead, is expected to eventually bring the LTTE to their knees — at least that’s the theory.  The GoSL, and the US in particular is said to have instinctively agreed, solely based on geo-political greed, to gradually build psychological pressure on the Tamils to a breaking point. The rationale runs that, once they feel cornered, the Tamils might be urged to ask: Is an autonomous Eelam really an economic viability?  The GoSL with the help of the West would shake heaven and earth in order for the Tamils to arrive at a negative conclusion.  All these seem to be purely academic.  Indeed, it sounds far fetched. There is every possibility for these miscalculated moves turning into a monstrum-horrendum. 

What the West would like to ideally see, quite frankly, is a cash-strapped de facto Eelam state.  To point to a current example: even though Hamas has won a landslide electoral victory - most unexpectedly through democratic means - the West has got the manipulative clout because it has got the purse strings!  It is safer to keep things on the leech. 

There is always political leverage in the carrot-and-stick game.  In this policy formation, there still lays a perplexing question.  Can’t the Arab petro-dollars fund the Palestine “state”?  Why should the Palestinians rely on Western hand-outs while the Arab Petro-dollars are buying out multi-billions worth of prime real estate, and top niche businesses (in most cases status-quo institutions) in the Western capitals? Cash seems to flow in one direction only — not to mention the Swiss bank accounts.  The answer, perhaps, is located somewhere within the <inverted commas> above .  The two-state solution and the talk of a road-map to peace with the assistance of Norway have managed only to miss theoretical bulls-eye of conflict resolution.

By applying the Palestinian experience to the de facto Tamil State, one finds that there is juxtaposed a twin factor 1) Political independence 2) Economic independence or inter-dependence.  The achievement of the first depends, in our reckoning, on the battle for Trinco.   Secondly, a complex hard question has to be faced: Can the Eelam Central financial institution fund its own state public services such as hospitals, transport – land, sea and air; banks, schools, universities, security, et cetera?  

In order to yield a realistic response to the second question, at some opportune moment the newly established Eelam state will require finding its way into the international monetary system.  Of course, Eelam is not intending to be a reclusive state in a globalised economy. The answer to this question very much relies on the next strategic question.  In the event of such an independence and economic boom, how would it affect the geo-political interests of the US and the balance of power in the region?

The fundamental question, however, is tucked away in a multi layered existential reality – national and international, including geo-political interests.  In the end, the penny begins to drop.  Everything boils down to money, money, money. Finance, trade and economy.  It is tragic that the West, the US in particular, has become morally delinquent owing to their coldly calculated self-interests. 

Plato once said war exists and will always exist because it comes from human passions.  He further added that it belongs to human nature, to our arrogance and anger, our need to assert and exert dominance or supremacy.  In light of Plato’s word, one needs to think of the world at large, while narrowing it down to the GoSL, the US and the EU. The acceptable ‘sophisticated trend,’ however, is to act locally on readiness for war, but to think globally of peace.  One’s talk is not expected to match one’s walk.  Weird that! 

It is said that diplomatic ‘sophistication’ makes one enter into peace agreements that often lack clarity, suffer from ambiguity, and permit contradictory interpretations.

In all of these “Idiyappa Cikkal” [problematic as spaghetti, like string hoppers], the word PEACE has become the most politicised and pilloried.  It seems one has to run with the trend of multi-layered talks and peace negotiations, if one’s aim is to win the desired goal.  In this round-about game of raja-tantrum, however, one’s intentions can be diametrically opposite to what you might be willing to say openly.  This shows what an illusive, fragile and a dangerous planet we inhabit!  The value of the life of a human being has diminished to the extent that people become expendable commodities.  Ideologies of greed and profit over people have often over taken humankind. 

In the current climate of hostilities, civilian murders and race riots, especially in Trincomalee, reveal the true intentions of the GoSL.  It is preparing and provoking the battle for Trinco.  The US and the UK fully understand the strategic importance of this battle.  The Trinco airport (and airbase) has always been on the strategic international code map for airports since colonial days even before Colombo ever became an international airport! [Not forgetting the sea port].

Should the battle for Trinco be lost by Colombo, then eventually the so-called peace negotiations will have to be transformed into amicable partition talks.  We can ‘lolly pop’ as much as we like. Evidence at hand regarding strengths and weaknesses of both sides suggests that this could very well be the ground reality.

In the mean time the GoSL in collaboration with the US will try its best to short circuit the Eelam project.  The primary objective, however, would be to coerce the Tamils to settle for the stars instead of the “moon.”

So just before that final scenario, the ‘peace bandwagon’ has to be on the road until “the goin’ gets tough because the tough gets goin.’”  Nonetheless, the West would want one thing to be clarified.  What sort of independence are we talking about? 

There can, of course, develop an interesting set of scenarios. If we are thinking hypothetically of the morning after the “post decisive battle for Trinco,” then we are seriously talking in the ballpark of the not too impossible event of partition.  At this stage the GoSL might be swiftly changing gears in terms of possibly linking its direction towards Pakistan with its cunning talk of “protecting the interests of Moslems.” This is a ploy to distract and destroy the people in East Eelam and to inflame Islamic terrorism!  For economic and geo-political reasons, there are strong signals already in the works of the GoSL re-aligning itself with China. 

Now where would this changing scenario place the young Eelam State in the international scene? Where would the Tamils look for aid and alliance in the process of further state formation, development and fortification?  Where will it pledge its allegiance? 

The considered response to these questions lies in the prudence on the part of the Western nations - the US and its allies.

Ah, but until ‘the rubber hits the road,’ the pragmatic unanswered question remains: Who will hold the purse strings?

In the final analysis: Profit-making is the essence of democracy.

 We stand to sing from the same hymn sheet:

                                  Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay,
                                  My, oh, my, what a wonderful day.
                                  Plenty of sunshine headin' my way,
                                  Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay!


This piece is humbly dedicated to the memory of a true hero of Eelam Tamils, Mr V Vigneswaran – a nirayuta-pani; assassinated on the 8th April ’06 in Trinco by racist cowards.

 Mr Vigneswaran lived and died for the idea of Eelam. May his courageous spirit live forever!

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