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Home > Tamil National Forum > Selected Writings by Sachi Sri Kantha > Collapse of Col. Karuna's Chariot
Selected Writings by Sachi Sri Kantha
Collapse of Col. Karuna's Chariot
13 April 2004
Much to the dismay of his local and international handlers [stinking skunks, media-bite specialists and prattling wordsmiths included], Col.Karuna’s war chariot collapsed abysmally. These agents had derived much schadenfreude [a German word, which doesn’t have an appropriate equivalent in English; i.e.,malicious joy in the misfortune of others] pleasure during the past five weeks on the agony of Eelam Tamils and their well wishers.
Col.Karuna’s chariot, which was exhibited openly to the public on March 3rd, had quite a number of ‘gee-whiz’ paraphrenalia to the Sri Lankan watchers. (1) It had amusing bells and whistles. Col.Karuna’s ‘spokesman,’ Varadan, came close to challenging Comical Ali - Saddam Hussein’s Information Minister, Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, in providing comic relief. (2) It had polish. Who will deny that Col.Karuna was a celebrated hero, when he was with the LTTE? (3) It also had colorful blue [the color of SLFP] ropes, tinted with Indian dye for the journalists to touch, hold and probably swallow. Sadly, when it came to the real action on April 9th, two small vital items in Col.Karuna’s war chariot were found missing.
Our forefathers had taught us that however majestic the chariot appears, it is worthless without two linchpins. The popular Tamil proverb said it all; Achchani illa ther-Muchchanum oodaathu [Chariot missing the linchpin cannot move even two feet.]. The word saan in the proverb refers to the distance of one’s palm spread; a handy measure of length used by our forefathers, equating to approximately 8 inches. Muchchan [three saans; is 3 x 8 = 24 inches; which equates to two feet.] Another Tamil proverb in which the word saan features, is Erumbum Than Kaiyaal En-saan [Even the ant measures eight saans, with its own limbs.]. This is true for humans as well. From head to feet, one’s height is nothing but eight saans.
Now, what are the two linchpins which were missing in Col.Karuna’s chariot? One is ‘absence of support force [Thunai Padai; equating to public support]’; the other one is common sense. Despite all the bells and whistles, polish, covert blessings and colorful ropes, Col.Karuna’s chariot missed the support force and common sense. It is as simple as that. When it came to the real thing, Col.Karuna’s war chariot collapsed literally and figuratively in three days.
Whatever one thinks of Pirabhakaran, the LTTE leader, he couldn’t have become a leader of Eelam Tamils, if he didn’t command popular support and wasn't blessed with common sense. Col.Karuna’s actions from March 3rd to April 12th revealed it to all that he didn’t command popular support and that his valued common sense had departed him, since Pirabhakaran pushed him to the limelight on that April 10th 2002 press conference in Kilinochchi. Since then Col.Karuna was living on well-earned, reflected glory as an LTTE fighter. But, he lost his common sense thereafter.
When I spent four days in Kilinochchi last month, during which period Col.Karuna’s chariot came into the open, my LTTE porali [fighter] escort said this to me calmly in Tamil, on March 5th Friday – the day before Col.Karuna was officially expelled from LTTE. Only five short sentences, and I repeat it for record. ‘Avar [Karuna] engaloodai ninravar. Ippa thaniya nirkirar. Annan mudivu eduthiddar. Avarrai kathai mudinchidum. Engaluku ithu periya ilappu illai.’ [He was with us. Now, he is standing alone. Pirabhakaran had made a decision. Karuna is history now. This is not a big loss for us.] Like other Eelam observers, I wondered how the end game would play out. True to my Kilinochchi friend’s words, Col.Karuna is history now.
They should be serving crow pies at the Chennai Hindu office these days. Regular hack V.S.Sambandan’s Colombo dispatch dated April 12, appeared in today’s [April 13] issue with two muted headlines; ‘Karuna withdraws fighters’ [What an understatement!] and ‘Advantage Prabhakaran.’ For Karuna to ‘withdraw fighters,’ first he should have had them. Simple reality was that, he never had the ‘fighters.’ The dangled number of ‘5,000-6,000 strong cadres’ were figments of imagination in the deluded minds of wordsmiths like Sambandan and D.B.S.Jeyaraj. These Hindu-embedded wordsmiths would never tell the simple truth even if their butts were exposed. Col.Karuna’s war chariot did not have two linchpins; the public support and common sense. So, it collapsed in three days.
I do not wish to indulge in the schadenfreude pleasure of picking on the utterly nonsensical predictions of wordsmith Jeyaraj. But his high-falutin gaffes need exposing. In the Sunday Leader of March 28th, Jeyaraj opined:
I would not be wrong (and my views are shared by thousands of Tamils) to argue that betrayal of trust deserves punishment, and to hold Col.Karuna [whatever his contributions to the LTTE in overt war] to a different standard is a bad precedence in a military organization. Thus Jeyaraj was utterly wrong in suggesting ‘rapprochement.’ Also, his track record as a wordsmith is not worth a spoon of spit for the LTTE and Pirabhakaran since there are gaping holes in his self-projected role as a ‘concerned individual.’
The April 4th Sunday Leader carried another ‘pigs are flying’ story by D.B.S.Jeyaraj with the caption ‘Karuna retrieves lost ground in east.’ The last paragraph of this weekly vomit was nothing but vintage Jeyaraj fiction. To quote,
“The Tigers blundered badly. With assassination attempts escalating the mood in the east began changing. The LTTE gaining the political advantage a week ago began losing its advantage drastically. Karuna was now winning back lost sympathy. Sensing the public mood Karuna began striking back and by election time had seemed to have retrieved lost ground considerably.”
Phew! 56 words of gibberish. I wonder whether somewhere in Toronto, they serve crow pie so that Jeyaraj can be feasted. The April 12th UNI news report from Colombo had the following down-to-earth revelation:
“…Karuna’s women military wing in-charge of Batticaloa-Amparai district, Venuka, in an interview with the BBC Tamil service said that Karuna had dissolved almost all his units and was keeping with him only about ten of his close confidantes in the thick jungles. ‘I met him this evening along with only about ten of his close confidantes. I am sure he would have either flown out of the country or was at least in Colombo to fly overseas’, she said.
Venuka said that she was held under the iron arm of Karuna and was forced to carry out his orders even after he decided to reject the LTTE leadership. She said that she had now explained the plight of 600 women cadres under her command to the LTTE leaders and happily joined back the mainstream rebel forces under the leadership of Velupillai Prabhakaran.
Sources of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) said that Col Ramesh, who was appointed by the LTTE leadership to replace renegade Karuna, was visible moving in the Eastern Batticaloa district.”
If one believes the prediction of wordsmith Jeyaraj, it should have been a dramatic turn about for Col.Karuna, from April 4th to April 12th. According to this latest report, Karuna was last seen in a huddle with his ten close confidants. One wonders whether Varadan, Karuna’s spokesman since March 3rd, was also among these ten.
One also wonders what role Varadan played before March 3rd in the LTTE. A sure guess is that he was assigned the role of entertainer to the troops. One month ago, the same Varadan was prattling as follows:
“Varathan also said Ramesh who was last week appointed as the special commander for the East by Pirapaharan has not yet arrived and added he has no right to take over the eastern command. ‘Ramesh can’t enter the east. This is the ground reality. The northern LTTEers have nothing to do in the east’ he said.” [Sunday Leader, Colombo, March 14, 2004]
It now seems that Varadan is the displaced individual with Col.Karuna. Col.Ramesh has arrived in the Eastern Eelam.