Tamil Solidarity has noted that the Tamilnet website reported that the launch of the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) -“GTF launch well attended by British politicians”. Tamilnet then posted another article which mildly takes up some of the important points about the GTF strategy and the points made in the latest report by the International Crisis Group (ICG ). The ICG claims it is “now generally recognised as the world’s leading independent, non-partisan, source of analysis and advice to governments, and intergovernmental bodies like the United Nations, European Union and World Bank, on the prevention and resolution of deadly conflict.”
We publish here some extracts from the Tamilnet article. We share the same disbelief in the British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and the rest of the western establishment who promote ‘non violence’. Miliband said: “I want to commend very, very strongly your decision to, not just to support non violence, but to advocate non violence”. The ICG report reflects the commercial interest of the west and the fear of radicalised Tamil-speaking young people. The very same people not only watched the butchering of thousands of people in Sri Lanka but also provided military funding right through the war. Before they lecture ‘non violence’ to the oppressed masses they have to answer to the millions of people who have died in the US/UK-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Any serious activist who wants to defend the rights of the Tamil-speaking people in Sri Lanka will have nothing to do with the hypocrisy of New Labour and the rest of the establishment.
It is mass movements of ordinary people organised in struggle that can change society to the benefit all. It is the mass movement within South Africa that brought down the racist government and not the UK establishment. Unlike Miliband suggests this is the most important lesson for all those who dared to fight to defend the rights of oppressed. It is when the masses take to the streets in the UK and around the world that arouses fear in these politicians and pushes them towards making concessions at least in words. That should never be forgotten.
Nothing must be hidden from the masses. In order to win their trust we must tell the truth. The masses must be allowed to hold leaders to account in a genuine way. Secret tea parties and a ‘we know the best’ attitude is a recipe for creating an elite group that will have no connection to reality on the ground. Stating one thing publicly and pretending to be representing another in private is a ‘way of life’ for all these ‘politicians’. This attitude has no place among the genuine activists who want to see real change.
The struggle for the right to self determination of the Tamil-speaking people is also a fight for political clarity and against all oppression. Such a campaign cannot include the very forces who deny those rights.
Those who are serious about the struggle for rights, loyal to the interests of the oppressed masses, willing to tell the truth and willing to fight should join with Tamil Solidarity in the struggle.
‘Eezham Tamils to act for themselves’
[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 February 2010, 04:15 GMT]
Even though one is not sure to what extent Miliband’s ideas of ‘forward-looking’ and ‘constructive’ would overlap with righteous aspirations of Eezham Tamils, he made a point in the House of Commons by prioritising “ a fully inclusive political process to address the underlying causes of the conflict” and by saying that peace can only come about through this process.
Not surprisingly, Colombo’s time-tested genocidal system didn’t fail to react to Miliband’s statement in the House of Commons Tuesday and to his address to the Global Tamil Forum Wednesday
Meanwhile, timed for Eezham Tamil diaspora efforts and Colombo’s imposed elections in the island, the International Crisis Group (ICG) came out with an extensive report naming the diaspora as ‘Sri Lankan Tamil’ diaspora, an imposed identity the diaspora always resents as a disgrace to it.
As though they know better about Eezham Tamils in the island more than their kith and kin in the diaspora, the ICG says the exhausted Tamils in the island are more concerned with rebuilding life than continuing struggle for an independent state and their gap with the diaspora Tamils has widened.
Tamils know well that the situation and the ‘scale of defeat’ mentioned by the ICG were deliberately brought out for the very purpose of nullifying independence by many forces in the international community with inputs from outfits such as the ICG itself.
The diaspora is unlikely to play a useful role supporting a just and sustainable peace in Sri Lanka, until it moves on from its separatist pro-LTTE ideology, says the ICG, adding that “while Tamils have the democratic right to espouse separatism non-violently, Tamil Eelam has virtually no domestic or international backing.”
The ICG also says diaspora’s moves will only feed fear and provide excuse for Rajapaksa administration to continue with destructive anti-terrorism and emergency laws.
What are the ideological premises of the ICG when it implies a long-standing cause for independence is ‘unjust’ and the excuses of state terrorism is reasonable? How sure is the ICG that the independence move, for which it uses a biased and negative term ‘separatist,’ is only pro-LTTE, when the aspiration for total independence has been democratically demonstrated by the Eezham Tamils before the times of the LTTE as well as even today?
The ICG indirectly admits the impotency of the forces it serves, when it says in the report that any significant improvement in the political position of Tamils and other minorities in Sri Lanka can come only slowly and with difficulty.
This is what Mahinda Rajapaksa also says for the nearly two centuries old colonial and post-colonial blunder in state formation, asking the victims to wait for another few centuries, so that wiping them out will resolve the political question.
With Rajapaksa’s totalitarianism and genocidal approach to Tamils proving support from the Sinhala masses, the West may take an appeasement approach to Colombo and will try to muffle the Tamil question further, is an opinion circulating in the diaspora.
Why shouldn’t the international community make a refreshing deviation in its long failed approach to the national question in the island? Why shouldn’t it set an example through the well deserving case of Sri Lanka, by allowing international justice to take its toll on that state, long failed in formation and shows no signs of rectification?
Most of the hijack takes place through ‘funding’ and the lure of development. We don’t need those funds for any genuine political empowerment.
In the absence of protection mechanism in our hands we may not be able to stop the ‘development’ invasion or collaborators joining it with projects such as ‘tourist hotels’ that don’t serve the fundamentals of what is meant by development to us. But, without wasting our little resources in collaboration, the diaspora may have to pool the resources in concentrating on damage-controlling alternative development.