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Home > Tamil National Forum > Selected Writings - Victor Rajakulendran > Perumal's "Perumoochu" - An open letter to Mr. Varatharaja Perumal, former Chief Minister of IPKF sponsored North-East Provincial Council

Selected Writings - Dr. Victor Rajakulendran

Perumal's "Perumoochu"
An open letter to Mr. Varatharaja Perumal, 
former Chief Minister of IPKF sponsored North-East Provincial Council

17 January 2001

Dear Mr. Varatharaja Perumal

I have read the many statements you have made to the press in Sri Lanka after you came back to Colombo, breaking your self imposed exile in India, (brought back to Colombo by President Chandrika's administration to serve its own ends) and also to help the President and her cohorts to win some Tamil votes for them. 

At times I have laughed at your statements and at other times I have had to control my anger.  You have always under estimated the political wisdom and the political will of the Tamil people. I was tempted to write this open letter on several occasions before but, after reading your New Year's message published in the Sri Lanka state controlled Daily News on Monday the 1st of January, 2001, I could not control my patience any longer

Mr. Perumal, I do not think you would have forgotten the fact that you were not the Tamil people's popular choice for the post of  Chief Minister of the short lived North-East Provincial Council (NEPC) in 1988. Every Tamil  knows that this NEPC was imposed on the Tamil people by the then Rajeev Gandhi administration. 

Prior to the Indo-Sri Lankan accord and the arrival of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF), you belonged to the section of  Eelam Tamils who believed that armed resistance was necessary to defend the Tamil homeland against the Sinhala occupation forces. 

But, in 1987 you (and the other militant groups, other than the LTTE) chose to accept and advocate what the Indian South Block told you. Except for some power hungry, arrogant and selfish politicians like you, Mr. Douglas Devananda and Mr. Siththarthan, all these other groups now appear to regret that blunder.

After the recent Vaddukkodai convention, 11 Tamil political parties (the only exceptions are your EPRLF, Mr. Devanantha's EPDP and Mr. Siththarthan's PLOTE) came together for the first time, and asked in one voice for the Sri Lankan government to reciprocate the LTTE's unilateral cease-fire offer and start negotiating with them. This is clear evidence that all these parties feel, what the LTTE stands for is the best for the Tamils of Eelam.

Mr. Perumal, in your latest statement you accept that "presently various sections among the people express their opinion on peace negotiations and cease-fire". But you fail to understand why these people are expressing such an opinion. The simple answer is that they know that this is the only way to find a lasting peace in Sri Lanka. 

You have also stated that "LTTE is the main force functioning behind this cry". If what you say  is true, it amounts to saying  that these various sections among the people are willing to accept what LTTE is advocating. In other words you are saying that the majority of the people have come to accept what LTTE has been struggling for the last 17 years. 

You say that the "LTTE on the war front is very weak, the LTTE is under severe stress due to international pressures" and they have some internal crises. Anyone will laugh at your statement that the LTTE is  weak - an LTTE which has steam rollered from Omanthai to Eluthumadduval, while the SL Security Forces (SLSF) melted away southwards to Vavuniya and northwards into the Jaffna peninsula and an LTTE  which has penetrated the high security areas of the Trincomalee naval base and attacked the naval ships and the base itself. 

If your assessment is based on the fact that the SLSF have recently retaken a large swath of land lost to the LTTE after the fall of the Elephant Pass base complex, it reflects either your inability to analyze military situations or your intention to mislead your audience. 

If the LTTE leader, after declaring publicly that his earlier plan to march into the peninsula further and retake Jaffna would not work because of the military help the international community has rendered to the SLG,  holds on to unnecessary territory, he will be making the same blunder the SLSF made during the Jayasikuru operations. 

Mr. Perumal you may recall that LTTE withdrew into the Wanni jungles without resisting the advancing SLSF during the latter part of the Rivirasa operations and the early part of the Jayasikuru operations launched by the SLSF. At that time too, people like you said that the LTTE had been weakened. 

It is true, as you have stated, there was, and is, international pressure not only on LTTE but also on the SLG to bring about a negotiated settlement to this longstanding conflict. You may be aware that if not for international pressure LTTE, would have had a cake walk in the peninsula, chasing a demoralized SLSF, which was in  withdrawal mode just after the fall of the Elephant Pass camp. 

At the moment, the LTTE is handling the international pressure very well - and earning appreciation. On the other hand, the SLG is confused, as how to handle the international community's pressure. This is evidenced by the different statements made by  different members of the government like the President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and the Deputy Defence Minister during the holiday season.

"India is depending on the EPRLF to provide candidates and ensure that the (1988) elections (to the N-E Provincial Council) do not turn out to be a farce in which no nominations are received for the Tamil areas in the North and East... Observers feel that ... the EPRLF which has given a list of probable candidates to the Indian High Commission, will in the end take part. Jaffna peninsula, where the LTTE is best entrenched and where  support for it from the population is probably  highest will be the most difficult area in which to hold elections. One strategy, which is being worked out, is to have only the EPRLF put up candidates, in which a contest will be avoided..." Brahmin owned Hindu, 29 September 1988

"The ruling UNP, the Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress will vie for 14 seats in Trincomalee, 11 in Batticaloa and 10 in Amparai at elections to the (N-E Provincial) Council set up under the terms of the Indo Sri Lanka Accord... Over 500 vehicles will be used by the IPKF troops to patrol routes in the region ... The transport of election officials and ballot boxes to polling booths, their return to counting centres will be carried out by IPKF troops who have assured the Sri Lankan Government about satisfactory ground conditions for holding elections, where the two Tamil groups, the EPRLF and ENDLF already hold the majority of seats, after being returned uncontested in the northern province.. Meanwhile IPKF troops have strengthened security in all areas with the deployment of 1500 women police officials and 150 Central Reserve policemen brought from India two days ago in addition to IPKF troops already stationed in the region..." Christopher Kamalendran and Upali de Silva reporting in the Sinhala owned Sri Lanka Sun, 17 November 1988

"The EPRLF has won a clear majority in the North Eastern Provincial Council after yesterdays elections and has 41 seats in the 71 seat Council. Of the 35 Eastern Province seats that were at stake,.. 17 went to the EPRLF, and 17 to the Muslim Congress... The United National Party won one seat... The EPRLF had already won 24 uncontested seats in the northern province..." Brahmin owned Hindu, 21 November 1988

Mr. Perumal, you have appealed to the Tamil parties, the Tamil representatives, the Tamil public in general and the international community not to take the LTTE's call for a cease-fire seriously. 

In what capacity are you making this appeal Mr. Perumal? What moral right do you have to make such an appeal? The Tamil people have not forgotten that it was the Rajiv Gandhi administration that installed you as the Chief Minister of the North-East Provincial Council in 1988.

The Tamil people know very well how you were brought by President Chandrika Kumaratunga, just before last year's elections to organize some Tamil votes for the ruling Sinhala  party. They also very well remember that  you were rejected at last year's election by the people Jaffna, so much so that although you were in the PA national list, President Kumaratunga did not bother to give you a seat in  parliament as she thought you were not of sufficient worth to sacrifice one of the PA members. Nevertheless,  you do not want to give up your habit of serving your political masters who provide bread and butter for you. 

You know that your President will be concerned about the way that 11 Tamil political parties have united to raise their voice in support of the LTTE and send a strong signal to the International Community. This is why you thought, by releasing a statement like the one you released on 1st of January,  you will  warm the heart of your President. Now EPDP also has followed you and done the same thing. Mr. Perumal, whatever you do, your President will not forget that you are the same Perumal who unilaterally declared Thamil Eelam, when you were hurriedly packing your bags to go into exile in India.

Mr. Perumal, who are you to question the sincerity and honesty of the LTTE? You need to be sincere and honest enough to question others about their honesty and sincerity. You have displayed publicly your degree of honesty and sincerity during your political career. 

Mr. Perumal, don't you think it is ridiculous for you to lay out 4 pre-conditions to the LTTE, when your President has in the past declared that her government was prepared to negotiate with the LTTE without any pre-conditions. The major thrust of your pre-conditions is that the LTTE should make with all the Tamil political parties. Eleven out of the 14 Tamil parties seem to have no problem with the LTTE.  It is parties who have been rejected by Eelam Tamils and who were elected to Parliament by recourse to the gun, that seem to have a problem in having a peaceful relationship with LTTE. 

By releasing your statement, you have expressed your frustration at being rejected by the Tamil people and your concern that parties like yours have already become irrelevant to the peace process - a peace process which will increasingly involve the LTTE, SLG and the international community. 

Mr. Perumal, you have finally appealed for "a bloodless and hopeful New Year". This depends on your President and her Deputy Defence Minister. Going by the past record, the LTTE will honor its pledge of a cease-fire until the 24 of January and if the SLSF has not reciprocated by that time, a full scale war will erupt. Therefore, if you are sincere and honest about finding a lasting peace, you should start preaching to your President and her cohorts rather than the LTTE. 


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