Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C

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From: One Tamil in Tamil Eelam, 16 June 2008

Dear Sinhalese:

I understand that you are upset by us. Indeed, it appears that you are quite upset, even angry.

Today, it is the "barbarism of LTTE terrorism", yesterday it was the Federal party, before that it was the "favouritism of the British". It appears that Tamils, who could achieve equality and who, therefore, could live, upset you.

Indeed, every few years you seem to become upset by us. You were upset in 1956, in 1958, in 1961 and in 1977 and went on acts of arson, rape, pillage, murder and plain barbarity and we were scornfully asked to go to the Federal party for help.

Of course, dear Sinhalese, long before there was a Tamil tiger, we the Tamil people - upset you. And we go back a long way in the history of Sinhala upset. We upset the "Great" Sinhala King Dutugemunu and you still use his "history" to teach your young ones to be more upset by us.

Reds are upset and monks are upset. The radical Sinhalese are upset and the gentle "Sinhalese moderates" are upset. We upset the Sinhala Hamudawa who massacred tens of thousands of us; we upset the Sinhala police who, collaborated with rioters and killed, burnt and slaughtered untold numbers of us.

And it is because we became so upset over upsetting you, dear Sinhalese, that we decided to leave you - in a manner of speaking - and establish a Tamil state. The reasoning was that living in close contact with you, as resident-strangers, we upset you, irritate you and disturb you. What better notion, then, than to leave you (and thus love you) - and have you love us and so, we decided to come home - home to the same land we were driven to in 1983.

Black July 1983 - the Exodus

Having left you and your pogroms and riots, having taken our leave from you to live alone in our own little state of Tamil Eelam, we continue to upset you.

Well, dear Sinhalese, consider the reaction of a normal Tamil from Tamil Eelam:

In 1956 and 1958 and 1961 and 1977, there was no "Tamil terrorism" to impede peace between Tamils and Sinhalese. Indeed, there was no Kotias (Tigers) to upset anybody. Nevertheless, the same Sinhalese slaughtered thousands of Tamils in Hingurakgoda, Polonnaruwa, Minneriya and Colombo. Indeed, in 1958 so many Tamil men, women and children were mercilessly hunted down in Polonaruwa Sugar plantation.

Dear Sinhalese, why did you massacre hundreds of Tamils in one day in 1958? Why did you carry out the1977 pogrom and made 75,000 refugees. Could it have been your anger over Tiger terrorism in 2007? And why were thousands of Tamil men, women and children slaughtered in pogroms between 1956-83? Was it because Sinhalese were upset over Tiger terrorism in 1996?

The same twisted faces, the same hate, the same cry of "para demala" (foreign Tamils!) that we hear and see today, were seen and heard then. The same people, the same dream - Sinhala Buddhism only. What you failed to do yesterday, you dream of today.

Dear Sinhalese, you stood by and cheered on when the Sinhala police burnt down our beloved Jaffna library.

Jaffna Public Library - Burnt Shell

You stood by when Sinhala police massacred attendees at an International Tamil Cultural event in Jaffna.

You contributed and stood by in 1983 genocide, wildly cheered by wild mobs in every Sinhala town and city in your land.

You drove millions of Tamils to the North-East, thus suggesting Tamil Eelam is our only Homeland. When we come here to establish Tamil Eelam, alas that upsets you again. It appears that you are hard to please.

And since we know that the Sinhalese dream daily of our extinction, we will do everything possible to remain alive in our own homeland. If that bothers you, dear Sinhalese, well ? - think of how many times in the past you bothered us.

In any event, dear Sinhalese, if you are bothered by us, here is one Tamil in Eelam who could not care less and, frankly doesn't give a damn !

From: Sengodan Mayuram, 21 March 2008

India's Role on Eelam Issue

I write this in connection with Sabesan's article on India's role on the Eelam issue. I feel it is most timely and such an article needs the widest publicity not only among the Tamils of Tamil Nadu cutting across all political divisions there but also to reach all progressive sections in India beyond Tamil Nadu. We can sense a paradigm shift in the thinking of some progressive sections in India as reflected in the speech of Mr. D.Raja the National Secretary of the CPI in the Rajya Sabha. So we have to press on and drum harder the Truth.

It may be useful to have this article printed in other major Indian languages including Hindi. There are two aspects to be considered. One, our (Eelam Tamils') attitude towards India and the other India's attitude towards Eelam. The latter is beyond our control though we can do our best to influence same. Our attitude towards India will naturally be friendly all the time because of natural affinities through our close cousins in Tamil Nadu and extensions of same beyond. There is no basic enmity between us and India and it is this fact that Sabesan has possibly sought to spell out more elaborately.

Unfortunately a handful of old codgers like Narayanan are trying to mislead India because of their personal prejudices. But this cannot go on for long. It may take a little time for the greater number of Indians to wake up to reality as only about 15% of the total Indian population could be considered to be truly literate at present. We should show patience but make a determined consistent effort. We can never fail.

Response by tamilnation.org

We agree that we must show patience and make a determined consistent effort - and it is true that Tamil Eelam has no 'basic enmity' with India. It will be equally true to say that Tamil Eelam has no 'basic enmity' with the US or for that matter the United Kingdom or the European Union. Said that, we would imagine that so long as the world 'is not rotating on the axis of human justice' Tamil Eelam too will be guided by that which Lord Palmerston declared many years ago - "We have no eternal allies and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." However unlike British Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston, the people of Tamil Eelam do not seek to build empires - their interests, which are eternal and perpetual, are founded on their democratic right to govern themselves.

We ourselves do not see 'a paradigm shift in the thinking of some progressive sections in India as reflected in the speech of Mr. D.Raja the National Secretary of the CPI in the Rajya Sabha' on 18 March 2008. Mr.D.Raja has called upon the Indian government to state openly that it is training the Sri Lankan army. However he has not expressed his support for the Tamil Eelam struggle for freedom. Nor has he called for the de proscription of the LTTE. Here, we need to bear in mind the recent concerns expressed by B.Raman, who is certainly no friend of the Tamil Eelam freedom struggle, that the Indian military should refrain from crossing the 'Laxman Rekha' - the dividing line between covert and overt Indian assistance to the Sri Lanka military.

Again, we do not believe that the Indian state or the sophisticated Research Analysis Wing are arming Sri Lanka because 'a handful of old codgers like Narayanan are trying to mislead India'. The Indian state is not foolish. It will be foolish on our part to believe that it is. As we pointed out in our comment to Mr.Sabesan's article, we agree with that which former Indian Foreign Secretary Mr.Bhandari declared in the Hindustan Times in July 1987 -

" ..No one individual formulates and decides (Indian)Government's policy. There are always in depth internal consultations and discussions. There are several inputs before decisions are taken. Any individual entrusted with a task does so on directions..."

It is not that the Indian state is unaware of the moral legitimacy of the Tamil Eelam struggle for freedom. It is not that the Indian state is unaware of the justice of Gandhian leader S.J.V. Chelvanayagam's Independence Declaration of 7 February 1975 -

"Throughout the ages the Sinhalese and Tamils in the country lived as distinct sovereign people till they were brought under foreign domination...We have for the last 25 years made every effort to secure our political rights on the basis of equality with the Sinhalese in a united Ceylon....It is a regrettable fact that successive Sinhalese governments have used the power that flows from independence to deny us our fundamental rights and reduce us to the position of a subject people. I wish to announce to my people and to the country that I consider the verdict at this election as a mandate that the Tamil Eelam nation should exercise the sovereignty already vested in the Tamil people and become free."

The fact is that the Indian state which armed and trained Tamil militants in the 1980s, today arms and supports the Sri Lanka military - for the same reasons. The Indian state acts in the way it does not because it is 'misled' (by a few bad guys) but because, on the contrary, it is sharply focused on what it perceives to be the national interests of India. And it is those perceived national interests that we need to confront.

Here it has to be said that the LTTE itself has at times contributed to this 'India has been misled' syndrome. The LTTE as a 'de facto State actor' may have had its reasons for adopting this particular 'diplomatic phraseology' or 'anuku murai' but an unfortunate result is that the same phraseology is adopted often blindly, by supporters of the Tamil Eelam freedom struggle. Though some supporters may see 'the India has been misled' gambit as an 'anuku murai' others may actually believe that the Indian state is being 'misled' by 'a few bad guys'. And this leads to confusion amongst sections of the Tamil people - a confusion which weakens our focus and dissipates our efforts.

We must take serious note of that which Mamanithar Sivaram said, though it was said five years ago in May 2003 -

"...Any foreign force can have its way in a country only if its people are divided, politically obfuscated and are irredeemably sunk in political stupor. The creeping intellectual/political barrenness in the northeast should be stopped without further delay. LTTE officials too should stop making pedestrian, boringly predictable utterances on public forums and, instead, make every endeavour to stir the people's reason, intellectual curiosity, their sense of community, their imagination and their intellectual fervour. This is the only way forward to decisively break the vicious circle of political obfuscation by which our people- are deeply but blissfully afflicted today."

We agree that "we have to press on and drum harder the Truth" but we need to recognise that that 'Truth' includes the dynamics of the power balances in the Indian Ocean region - and its impact on the Tamil Eelam struggle for freedom. And it is this 'whole truth' that we need to 'drum harder' so that those who pretend to be asleep will find it increasingly difficult to continue with their pretence with any semblance of credibility. Here, we would repeat that which we said in our comment on Mr.Sabesan's article -

"...Why has India not supported the demand for Tamil Eelam? Is it because India has not heard that which the LTTE has been saying for the past several years (that it is India's friend)? Or is it because that India does not believe the LTTE? Or is it because that even if India believes the LTTE, it (India) is concerned that it may not have the power to prevent that which happened to its friend Mujib Rahman after it had supported the creation of Bangladesh? Or again is it that India fears that if it supports an independent Tamil Eelam, such support will lead to Sri Lanka turning to US and/or China and this may result in a permanent US and/or China presence being embedded in Sri Lanka - and that such an embedded US and/or China presence would pose a strategic threat to India. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the limits of India's power determine its foreign policy. "

The Achilles heel of India's foreign policy is in fact India's compelling need for Laxman's Rekha. 'An Achilles' heel is a fatal weakness in spite of overall strength, actually or potentially leading to downfall.'

Statue of Achilles thniskon (dying) at the Corfu Achilleion

Whether India is right to take the view that the people of Tamil Nadu will accept as 'plausible' the efforts made by the Indian State to conceal its covert assistance to Sinhala Sri Lanka is something that time will tell. Policy makers in New Delhi may be wrong in belittling the intelligence and understanding of the Dravidian Tamil - despite the assistance that New Delhi may seek and receive in this regard from the likes of V.Anandasangaree and S.C.Chandrahasan.

We may need to remind India (and perhaps, some of us as well) about something that Velupillai Pirabakaran said long years ago in 1985 -

"... We don't want to pass the burden of a liberation struggle to the next generation: they must enjoy the fruits of our toil.....Fight we must, till our goal is achieved. India's sympathy is a morale-booster, but should India withdraw support it would not mean the end of our liberation struggle. After all we did not start our liberation movement with India's support or with the help of some other external forces. We will fight till we die. When I die someone else will take over. As Subhas Chandra Bose said, 'No liberation fighter can delude himself that he alone can deliver freedom.' If my generation dies without attaining freedom the next generation will carry on the struggle..."

But, then again it may be that India's policy makers are not unaware of something that two of India's greatest sons, Sri Aurobindo and Subhas Chandra Bose said many years ago -

"The mistake which despots, benevolent or malevolent, have been making ever since organised states came into existence and which, it seems, they will go on making to the end of the chapter, is that they overestimate their coercive power, which is physical and material and therefore palpable, and underestimate the power and vitality of ideas and sentiments. A feeling or a thought, the aspiration towards liberty, cannot be estimated in the terms of concrete power, in so many fighting men, so many armed police, so many guns, so many prisons, such and such laws, ukases, and executive powers. But such feelings and thoughts are more powerful than fighting men and guns and prisons and laws and ukases. Their beginnings are feeble, their end is mighty. But of despotic repression the beginnings are mighty, the end is feeble... But the despot will not recognise this superiority, the teachings of history have no meaning for him. ..He is deceived also by the temporary triumph of his repressive measures.. and thinks,

"Oh, the circumstances in my case are quite different, I am a different thing from any yet recorded in history, stronger, more virtuous and moral, better organised. I am God's favourite and can never come to harm."

And so the old drama is staged again and acted till it reaches the old catastrophe..." Sri Aurobindo

"..Freedom is not given, it is taken.. One individual may die for an idea; but that idea will, after his death, incarnate itself in a thousand lives. That is how the wheel of evolution moves on and the ideas and dreams of one nation are bequeathed to the next..." Subhas Chandra Bose

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