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TAMIL NATIONAL FORUMAmnesty and Cricket
Editorial, Oru Paper, 20 April 2007
The Cricket World Cup games will come to an end soon. People will congratulate the new champions and wish them more fine achievements in the future.
If the Sri Lankan Team does not win the championship, the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Sinhalese political parties will blame Amnesty International's `Play by Rules' campaign as the cause of this defeat. They may even blame 'terrorist Tamils' and the Tamil Diaspora for funding the defeat.
If Sri Lanka wins the championship then a short lived euphoria will engulf the South. President Rajapakse may mention 'our two thousand years old. Buddhist civilization' And will ask the Sinhalese to gather under his command to repeat the same achievement on the battlefronts in the Tamil Northeast.
Now lets return to `less' important matters, such as the daily killings and the destruction, the abductions, the launching of expensive rockets to set fire to farmlands which were ready to be harvested, and everything else connected with the current Eelam War IV.
It seems that the brains running the GOSL are inventing new patents. After the unilateral disengagement and the unilateral shadow-war, GOSL have now a unilateral war. As usual the international community has accepted this without much consideration. They sanction this war in which the GOSL enjoys all the rights of a belligerent party. While the human rights of other (weaker) side are ignored.
Like George Bush's invasion of Iraq, Rajapakse's invasion of Tamil Northeast has an aim that changes from day to day. It started as an operation to save irrigation water to fifteen thousand Sinhalese farmers in Trincomalee area. Now this has been extended to the 'liberation and democratisation of Tamils'.
For everything related to the Tamils, the Sri Lankan Army has a solution - the same solution it has had for each and every problem: apply massive force.
If only the GOSL's military forces conquer, pulverize, kill and destroy more and more, the moment will come when the Tamil people will not be able to stand the suffering and will demand that the Tamil fighters drop their weapons. Unconditionally.
This might be called the "Harris Principle." In World War II, the British Air-Marshal Arthur Harris ("Bomber Harris") promised to bring Germany to its knees by turningits cities into rubble. The Germans spoke of "terror attacks." In one of them, the city of Dresden, one of the biggest and most splendid in Germany, was razed to the ground. In the giant conflagration, between 35,000 and 100,000 civilians were burnt to death.
So how is this Harris Principle working in the Tamil Northeast?
The Tamil population is not collapsing, in spite of its dreadful situation. It demands, almost unanimously, that the Tamil fighters not to stop their resistance if there is no political solution.
So, instead of a political solution based on internationally accepted principles, a war funded by the international community is being forced upon the Tamils.
Colonisation of the East
In the East the sole aim of the GOSL is to militarily take over the Tamil lands thus to continue with state aided colonisation of the remaining Tamil regions such as Vakarai and Batticaloa's hinterlands with Sinhalese settlers. This will make the Tamils a minority in their own homeland thus neutralising their resistance.
This, seems easy: one only has to occupy die areas from which the Tamil fighters have bases thus making them militarily impotent.
This GOSL strategy reminds us of Santayana's famous maxim that those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it.
The Eastern operations may well bring about a temporary GOSL military control over these Tamil Lands. But even the commanders of these operations concede that the attacks on the military will resume, and probably increase, the moment the Army spreads thin on the ground, as they have to do soon.
The Sinhalese people have not been aware of the 90's Vanni quagmire thus they will not to be able to stop themselves to be sucked into this "Eastern quagmire".
Options for the Tamils
If the permanent stoppage of the Tamil resistance is not practicable, what war-aim is left? Only one: to bring about the collapse of the Tamil people as a community.
For the Tamils, this is a heroic stand of their finest sons and daughters against an evil and vicious enemy. One of the strongest armies in the region, equipped with the most up-to-date weaponry, is deployed against a few thousand irregular fighters. Fighter planes, helicopter gun ships, heavy tanks, artillery, missile boats, armoured bulldozers and night-vision sights--all against Kalashnikovs and light anti-tank weapons (as well as afew artilleries and a couple of light aircrafts).
If the GOSL carries on to kill the Tamil leaders and fighters, the Tamil Tigers will only emerge more strengthened. The place of the great heroes will be filled by new leaders from among the fighters, and the Tamils continue to close ranks behind them.
There is nothing left of the leader that the Sinhalese voted for only in 2005, the one that was going to carry out a social revolution, change the national priorities and bring peace nearer.
All that is left is a henchman - (and not the most brilliant one) for the Sinhalese hegemony. He is talking himself to political and military death. His unending blabbing does not contain anything but the empty clichés of the pest: The Sinhalese shall not surrender to blackmail, Terrorism will not prevail, The enemy wants to annihilate us, The murderers will not be pardoned, We have a wonderful army, Our arm is long etc. etc.
Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapakse is repeating the most blood-curdling slogans of the worst of his predecessors such as Ranjan Wijeratne of the 80's. It is certain that the Rajapakses have failed to study history thus they are doomed to repeat it.