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Home > Tamil National ForumSelected Writings by Sachi Sri Kantha > Naivete and Rascality of Narasimhan Ram

Selected Writings by Sachi Sri Kantha

Naivete and Rascality of Narasimhan Ram
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Comments by tamilnation.org

2 November 2008

Since I penned my previous commentary on Malini Parthasarathy�s malodorous malady, The Hindu (Chennai) of  18 October had carried an editorial, captioned �Sri Lanka: What needs to be done� on the prevailing conditions in the North-east of Sri Lanka, where indigenous Tamils live. This is not the first time, I have critiqued the naivete and rascality of the Hindu�s chief editor N.Ram�s stand on the Eelam Tamil issue. If you bother to google (as I did on 29 October) the name Narasimhan Ram, 205,000 items are presented; the second item on the list was my critique penned on Jan.2, 2006, titled �A Low-down on Narasimhan Ram�.  

A subsequent editorial that appeared in the Hindu of 25 October (entitled, �Curbing dangerous tendencies�), which make reference to the 8 October item, prompted me to write this critique. For record, I provide the complete text of  18 October editorial below, before I critique the naivete and rascality of Narasimhan Ram.

Sri Lanka: what needs to be done - N.Ram, 18 October 2008

Note by tamilnation.org  Given the propagandist nature of  Narasimhan Ram's diatribe (which appears to have been a precursor to his celebrated interview with Sri Lanka President Rajapakse on 29 October 2008 in the 'tranquil surroundings' of Temple Trees) we ourselves feel impelled to comment on some of Ram's  more outrageous assertions. We are reminded of respected journalist and writer, Subramaniam Sivanayagam's remarks in 2005 in the aftermath of the Tsunami "... The case of the editor of a leading Indian newspaper � The Hindu � Ram by name, is ...shameful. The dictionary defines the word ram, as an 'uncastrated male sheep' (The New Penguin English Dictionary). Although it happens to be his name, with a capital R, there is no question that he needs some form of assistance to make him a more professional editor and a better human being."

�The global financial crisis has spawned a new term that is fast acquiring the status of a clich� � �bailout package.� Now attempts are on, internationally and in Tamil Nadu, to craft a bailout package for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Comment by tamilnation.org  Good samaritans engaged in bail outs or international actors jockeying for power in the Indian Ocean Region?

"The record shows that these international actors are concerned to influence the resolution of the conflict in such a way that each of their own (conflicting) interests in the Indian Ocean region are advanced � or at least not undermined." International Dimensions of Conflict in SriLanka - Nadesan Satyendra, 2 October 2007

"'India loves to play all sides, and has always done that,' said Reva Bhalla, an analyst with the U.S. private intelligence firm Stratfor.  'They can cater to the Tamil politicians and benefit from the Tigers' military capability going down without taking too much political risk.'  Underscoring India's dual-track approach to Sri Lanka, furious denials erupted from Colombo and New Delhi last month after two Indian radar technicians were injured in a Tiger assault on a Sri Lankan military base. Rajapaksa later said the men were providing after-sales service to radars India's Bharat Electronics sold to the military. India has also helped Sri Lanka intercept Tiger boats, which it considers a threat to national security..." C. Bryson Hull in India Rumbles over Sri Lanka war, but to what end?, 17 October 2008

Just what kind of political animal is the LTTE? The answer is straightforward. It is a dreaded terrorist organisation � described by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as �amongst the most dangerous and deadly extremist outfits in the world� � that claims to be the sole representative of Sri Lankan Tamils and pursues the secessionist goal of �Tamil Eelam� in an uncompromising way.

Comment by tamilnation.org  Being a political animal himself (albeit in the garb of a journalist) it is not surprising that Mr.Ram is concerned to ask  the question: 'Just what kind of political animal is the LTTE?'  But in searching for an answer it seems that  Mr.Ram's own politics has clouded his vision. Is the answer to his question, as he asserts,  'straightforward'?

"....It is a cruel extension of the terrorist scourge to taunt the struggles against terrorism with the label "terrorism". We support these struggles and call for the liberation of political language along with the liberation of peoples. Terrorism originates from the statist system of structural violence and domination that denies the right of self-determination to peoples..."  The Geneva Declaration on the Question of Terrorism, 1987

"Ever since the U.S. Defence Department organized the first ever World Wide Psyops Conference in 1963 and the first NATO Symposium On Defence Psychology in Paris in 1960, many NATO leaders and several scientists have been working in the field of psychological counter-insurgency methods (cf. the detailed reports and analyses of P. Watson, Psycho-War: Possibilities, Power, And The Misuse Of Military Psychology, Frankfurt 1985, p.25ff.).  The central aim of this defence approach is to destroy the morale of the insurgent movement at the early stages, to discredit it and destroy it using repressive means like long periods of isolation detention in prisons, thereby preventing a mass movement from starting which could be hard to control with conventional means. Defaming the insurgents as "terrorists" and punishing them accordingly - thereby ignoring international law concerning the rights of people in war - is a particularly useful means..." Michael Schubert in Theses On Liberation Movements And The Rights Of Peoples

" ..I believe that terrorism is a tool that has been utilized throughout history to achieve certain objectives. Some have been ideological, others territorial. There are personality-driven terroristic objectives. The bottom line is, you can't lump all terrorists together. And I think we've got to do a much better job of clarifying what are the motivations, the raisons d'�tre of terrorists. I mean, what the Tamil Tigers are fighting for in Sri Lanka, or the Basque separatists in Spain, or the insurgents in al-Anbar province may only be connected by tactics. They may not share all that much in terms of what is the philosophical or ideological underpinning. And I think one of our mistakes has been painting with such a broad brush, which has not been particularly helpful in understanding what it is we were up against when it comes to those who pursue terrorism for whichever ends they're seeking..." "You Can't Lump All Terrorists Together" - Hillary Clinton, 23 October 2007

"Throwing a bomb is bad,
Dropping a bomb is good;
Terror, no need to add,
Depends on who's wearing the hood."
R.Woddis 'Ethics for Everyman'
quoted by Igor Primoratz in State Terrorism & Counter Terrorism

What is its present situation? For all its success in building, over time, low-intensity fighting capabilities that are the envy of extremist and terrorist organisations the world over, the LTTE has taken a military battering as never before. Every credible independent assessment indicates that it faces a crisis of depleted infrastructure, combat strength, and morale, and has dug itself into a deep hole in its eroding strongholds in Mullaithivu and Killinochchi districts in the mainland North.

Comment by tamilnation.org  "the LTTE has taken a military battering as never before"?

"The IPKF got rid of the hard core elements. What is left (of the LTTE) is the baby brigade of young boys and girls. They will wet their pants when they meet my armed forces..."  Sinhala Sri Lanka Deputy Defence Minister, Ranjan Wijeratne, 15 July 1990

"...Linking of the land based Main Supply Route (MSR) to Jaffna through Killinochchi would be achieved by February 4, next year - I will shake hands with Pirabaharan after we defeat him" - Sinhala Sri Lanka Deputy Defence Minister, General Ratwatte, 14 December 1997

�...We trounced them. The LTTE ran for life. That will be the trend for the future also..�  Sinhala Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka to State Controlled Sri Lanka Sunday Observer, 13 August 2006 and two months later... "..It was the day of the Tiger on Wednesday, 11 October 2006 ...The seeming docility of the LTTE had given the wrong picture to the GOSL. The strategic withdrawals by the LTTE in recent times had bolstered this feeling. Even during the current battle the Tigers had let the army move in without much resistance. An overconfident army had either walked into or been lured into a deadly trap..." Sri Lanka Armed Forces Suffer Debacle, 15 October 2006

It was Mark Twain who said many years ago that reports of his death were greatly exaggerated and Mr.Ram may also want to attend to the words of Subramaniam Sivanayagam in the aftermath of the Tsunami in 2005 -

"... The case of the editor of a leading Indian newspaper � The Hindu � Ram by name, is ...shameful. The dictionary defines the word ram, as an "uncastrated male sheep" (The New Penguin English Dictionary). Although it happens to be his name, with a capital R, there is no question that he needs some form of assistance to make him a more professional editor and a better human being. No sooner than the wishful conjecture of Mr. Pirabakaran�s death spread in Sri Lanka and in the West, Ram jumped on the bandwagon. "Where is Prabakaran?" was the title of his editorial on January 11, as if that was a fit subject for an editorial in a reputed Indian newspaper, at a time when both his country and Sri Lanka were reeling under the tsunami tragedy. It was very obvious that the poor man was wishing that Mr. Pirabakaran was dead, from the kind of doubts he raised in that editorial about the Tamil leader being alive. What a disappointment for him to find Mr. Pirapaharan is very much alive. It must be remembered that this is not the first time The Hindu has "killed" Mr.Pirabakaran in its columns. Fifteen years ago, in 1989, in its issue of July 24, The Hindu ran the following headline - PRABHAKARAN REPORTED KILLED IN LTTE SHOOTOUT. The paper went on to report that Pirapaharan had been killed by his deputy "Mahattaya." That was after India�s disreputable intelligence agency RAW spread that diabolical lie, taking All India Radio, Doordashan, Lalith Athulathmudali in Colombo and many others for a merry ride..." Rumour-mongering,  Sinhala Chauvinism and Hindu's Ram - S. Sivanayagam,  23 January 2005

The terrorist crimes and atrocities of Velupillai Prabakaran�s organisation are too well known to detail here.

Comment by tamilnation.org  "...Do we not deliberately obfuscate when we conflate the two words 'terrorism' and 'violence'? ... The Cuban revolution was violent but it was not terrorism. The war against Hitler was violent but it was not terrorism...What are the circumstances in which a people ruled by an alien people may lawfully resort to arms to resist that alien rule and secure freedom? Or is it that there are no circumstances in which a people ruled by an alien people may lawfully resort to arms to to liberate themselves? And if all resort to violence to secure political ends is not terrorism, then what is terrorism? ..to categorise a combatant in an armed conflict as a 'terrorist' organisation and seek to punish it on that basis, is to.. assert in effect that  a people ruled by an alien people may not, as a last resort,  lawfully resort to arms to resist that alien rule and secure freedom... " Nadesan Satyendra on Terrorism and Liberation, 23 September 2006

Suffice it to note that its extremist character is expressed by the fact that it has rejected, out of court, every worthwhile proposal for devolution of power to the Tamil regions within a united Sri Lanka.

Comment by tamilnation.org There are  lies and then there are  bare faced lies. Mr.Ram clearly subscribes to the Goebellsian view that the bigger the lie the more it may  be believed. Was Mr. Ram being naive or was he being a knave when he chose  to ignore the views expressed by independent academics such as Professor Marshall Singer and Professor Devotta -

"...One of the essential elements that must be kept in mind in understanding the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict is that, since 1958 at least, every time Tamil politicians negotiated some sort of power-sharing deal with a Sinhalese government - regardless of which party was in power - the opposition Sinhalese party always claimed that the party in power had negotiated away too much. In almost every case - sometimes within days - the party in power backed down on the agreement..." - Professor Marshall Singer, at US Congress Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Hearing on Sri Lanka November 14,1995

"...Beginning in the mid-1950s Sri Lanka's politicians from the majority Sinhalese community resorted to ethnic outbidding as a means to attain power and in doing so systematically marginalised the country's minority Tamils...parties in power seek to promote dubious conflict resolution only to be checkmated by the respective opposition which typically claims that the proposed solutions are bound to eventually dismember the island"  Neil Devotta in From ethnic outbidding to ethnic conflict: the institutional bases for Sri Lanka's separatist war, 2005

Again what sort of devolution proposals did Mr.Ram have in mind? Did he have in mind the infamous 13th Amendement (and the Indo Sri Lanka Accord)  which secured India's strategic interests in the Indian Ocean region at the cost of denying justice to people of Tamil Eelam?

"Under the 13th Amendment power will continue to reside in a Sinhala dominated Central government, within the frame of an unitary constitution. The 13th Amendment is intended to secure a constitutional frame which will enable a Sinhala majority to manage the Tamil people more effectively than before. It has created Provincial Ministers who will not exercise executive power but who will have executive power exercised 'through' them!. At the same time it has created a Provincial Governor appointed by the Sinhala President who will exercise executive power in respect of provincial matters - a Provincial Governor who is also the administrative head of the provincial public service and who has control of the Provincial Finance Fund. And the 13th Amendment has created a Provincial Council without control of planning, without control of the provincial budget, without control of police and public order within the province, without control of disposition of state land within the province, without control of higher education and whose remaining meagre legislative powers are subject to the over riding will of the Central Parliament. Finally, the provisions of the Provincial Councils Act itself may be amended from time to time by a simple majority of members present and voting in Parliament!"  Thirteenth Amendment to Sri Lanka Constitution - Devolution or Comic Opera Nadesan Satyendra, March 1988"

Following the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi on Indian soil by an LTTE squad in May 1991, India became the first country to ban the LTTE as a terrorist organisation � whose supremo, Prabakaran, continues to be wanted as Accused No. 1 in the Rajiv assassination case.

Comment by tamilnation.org  For one thing, India did not ban the LTTE as a terrorist organisation. The text of the Ban Order of May 1992 states that the LTTE was banned 'on the ground that ' LTTE's objective for a homeland for all Tamils disrupts the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India and thus appears to fall within the ambit of an unlawful activity'. (see  of order). And in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, on appeal, the Indian Supreme Court on 11 May 1999, reversed the finding of the TADA court and held that the trial court had erred in law in convicting the accused of offences relating to terrorism..  

For the other, if Mr.Ram had been concerned with presenting a balanced view he may have felt the need to take on board the views expressed by Dr.T.Somasekeram and A.P.Venkateshwaran -

"..the Indian Army came here, massacred innocent Tamil civilians, raped our women and plundered our valuables. The acronym IPKF will always stand for Indian People Killing Force where we are concerned. We will one day erect a memorial in the heart of Jaffna town, in the centre of Hospital Road, in memory of all the innocent civilians � ranging in age from the very old past 80 to young children massacred by the IPKF and to the women who were raped." IPKF - Innocent People Killing Force,  Dr. T. Somasekaram 

"...as an Indian I feel ashamed that under the Indo Sri Lanka agreement, our forces are fighting with Tamils whom they went to protect...I believe that the Indian Government had betrayed its own culture and ethics...The guilt, therefore, rests entirely on those who sent them to do this dastardly business of fighting in Sri Lanka against our Tamil brothers and sisters..." India's former Foreign Secretary, A.P.Venkateshwaran,  speaking in London in April 1988

If Mr.Ram had taken aboard these views he may have even agreed that if 'Rajiv Gandhi had been tried before an International Court of Justice, an opportunity may have been afforded for an informed judgement to be made on the extent of his guilt'  in relation to the war crimes committed by the IPKF in Tamil Eelam -

Diwali Day Massacre, October 1987

"If Rajiv Gandhi had been tried before an International Court of Justice, an opportunity may have been afforded for an informed judgement to be made on the extent of his guilt, and whether, in any case,  the imposition of the death penalty was justified - but there was no court of justice whose jurisdiction, the people of Tamil Eelam could have invoked. ...The assassination of ex Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was wrong, because it was wrong to punish without charge and without trial according to law. But, if that was wrong was the procedure adopted to establish  the guilt of the accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination a fair one? Was Amnesty International  right in pointing out that: 'The legislation under which they were tried... contravenes several international  standards for fair trial, including the holding of trials in camera and the non-disclosure of the identity of witnesses.'?... Procedural law is civilisation's substitute for private vengeance and self-help. 'Lynch law' is no law..."  Rajiv Gandhi Assassination - The Verdict - Nadesan Satyendra,23 October 1999

Since the Indian proscription, nearly 30 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, the European Union, Canada, and Australia, have banned or listed the LTTE as a terrorist organisation.

Comment by tamilnation.org "..The most problematic issue relating to terrorism and armed conflict is distinguishing terrorists from lawful combatants... States that do not recognize a claim to self-determination will claim that those using force against the State�s military forces are necessarily terrorists...The controversy over the exact meaning, content, extent and beneficiaries of, as well as the means and methods utilized to enforce the right to self-determination has been the major obstacle to the development of both a comprehensive definition of terrorism and a comprehensive treaty on terrorism..." Terrorism and Human Rights  Final Report of the Special Rapporteur, Kalliopi K. Koufa,  25 June 2004

For several years now, some small political parties and fringe groups in Tamil Nadu have been involved in ineffective chauvinistic propaganda and activities to enable the LTTE to stage a political comeback in India. They got no political purchase for the simple reason that the overwhelming majority of the people of Tamil Nadu, something like 95 per cent, did not want a reprise of the secessionist campaigns and violent activities of the Tamil Tigers in one of India�s most peaceful States.

Comment by tamilnation.org  "small political parties and fringe groups involved in ineffective chauvinistic propaganda that got no political purchase"?

"...if the fictitious concept of placing �country�s interests above human rights, ethnic pride and identity� continues to be promoted for long, it will be a matter of time for India too to meet the fate of USSR or Yugoslavia or now Sri Lanka... In 1965, when Tamil Nadu faced the possibility of military action from a powerful New Delhi, Annadurai opted to abandon his demand for full autonomy for states under a lose confederation with one currency but multiple ethnic, cultural and national identities.

Today, Tamil Nadu appears headed for revolutionary political changes in a culmination of a combination of events: For one, the two main Dravidian political outfits � Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), headed by three-time chief minister M Karunanidhi and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), headed by former two-term CM Jayalalitha � are both reeling under overwhelming outrage among the Tamil population...The ground reality in Tamil Nadu is that almost every Tamil � belonging to whatever religion or strata � has a primary affinity to other Tamil-speaking people of whatever domicile or religion. .. Dravidian leaders, in their zeal to get on the right side of Delhi bosses, are seen to be conniving with New Delhi�s policy of aiding Sri Lankan government in exterminating Tamils...Developments in October will decide if New Delhi will be adding to the Kashmir imbroglio another hopeless embroilment in the South."  Natteri Adigal in  Merinews, 9 October 2008

"Tamil Nadu had a history of demanding secession from the Indian Union. Yet, over time, it has chosen to integrate itself fully with the national mainstream. If New Delhi does not change course in its Sri Lankan policy, it may plant the seeds towards a reversal of such history. That will be India's misfortune". M.S.S.Pandian
Times of India, 23 October 2008

Now several mainstream parties that have no love lost for the LTTE found themselves taking a strident stand on the Sri Lankan Tamil question. In six resolutions adopted at a recent all-party meeting chaired by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, they alleged �ethnic genocide� and issued an ultimatum to the Central government to provide humanitarian assistance to the Tamils (through international agencies such as the Red Cross), cease all military assistance to the Sri Lankan government, and bring about a ceasefire within two weeks � or else all Tamil Nadu MPs would resign, presumably bringing the United Progressive Alliance regime down with them.

 Comment by tamilnation.org " Many will see the current posturing (and ultimatums) by Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi in  Tamil Nadu as no more than a drama on a platform provided by New Delhi so that New Delhi may coerce President Rajapakse (and his JVP allies) to move away from the China-Iran-Pakistan axis... (Said that) The posturing by Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi (whatever may be their  motives) is, in the final analysis, an appeal to an underlying  Tamil national consciousness, and therefore their actions will help to nurture Tamil togetherness - and for that reason will be welcomed by many Tamils and used by them to further strengthen that Tamil togetherness. tamilnation.org in We won�t stop military cooperation with Lanka says Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee 24 October 2008

Official and political India must avoid a serious conceptual trap: equating the politico-military crisis of the LTTE with an existential crisis for Sri Lankan Tamils.

Comment by tamilnation.org  'Conceptual trap' of separating Eelam Tamils from the LTTE?

For political parties in Tamil Nadu, expressing concern over, and putting their best foot forward to help resolve, the humanitarian crisis created by the military conflict in the Wanni would be the just and proportionate response.

Giving moral support for a political solution along federal lines within a united Sri Lanka will also be consistent with the long-term thrust of Indian policy towards Sri Lanka�s ethnic conflict.

Comment by tamilnation.org  Federalism? "Along Federal Lines"? Amendment of Sri Lanka Constitution with support of all Sinhala political parties?

"...In the Sinhala language, the words for nation, race and people are practically synonymous, and a multiethnic or multicommunal nation or state is incomprehensible to the popular mind. The emphasis on Sri Lanka as the land of the Sinhala Buddhists carried an emotional popular appeal, compared with which the concept of a multiethnic polity was a meaningless abstraction..." [Sinhala Historian K. M. de Silva in Religion, Nationalism and the State, USF Monographs in Religion and Public Policy, No.1 (Tampa, FLA: University of South Florida 1986) at p31 quoted by David Little in Religion and Self Determination in Self Determination - International Perspectives, MacMillan Press, 1996]  

".. it is wrong to say that there exists in Sri Lanka either a Sinhala nation or a Tamil nation. Marxism-Leninism does not accept this. What exists is a Sinhala nationality, a Tamil nationality, a Moslem nationality and only a Sri Lanka nation...  The proletariat opposes the establishment of a federal system as a form of decentralization... the proletariat cannot agree to the use of the federal system to decentralize an existing united centralized state The north and the east cannot be one autonomous region...It is equally reactionary to consider the north and east as the traditional homelands of the Tamil nationality.. The proletariat needs no official language... " The Gospel according to the JVP

"In certain circles where a search is on for a solution to the armed conflict in the island, the oft repeated mantra is that Sri Lanka is a 'multi ethnic plural society'. It is a mantra which the Sri Lanka government has also found useful to chant from time to time. The mantra has a nice meditative ring to it. It conjures up the soothing vision of a society where all ethnic groups are equal and a plurality of view points is encouraged and secured. But mantras intended to resolve an armed political conflict, must fit the political reality on the ground.

The political reality is that there is nothing 'multi ethnic or plural' about the society over which the Sri Lanka government seeks to impose unitary rule. If nothing else, forty years of gross and consistent violations of the human rights of the Tamil people is proof of that. That these violations were no accidental happenings is evidenced by the statements of Sinhala political leaders and opinion makers during the past several decades:

"The history of Sri Lanka is the history of the Sinhalese race" -D.C. Vijayawardhana, The Revolt in the Temple, 1953

''...The time has come for the whole Sinhala race which has existed for 2500 years, jealously safeguarding their language and religion, to fight without giving any quarter to save their birthright... I will lead the campaign..." -J.R.Jayawardene, Sinhala Opposition Leader reported in Sri Lanka Tribune: 30th August 1957

"If we are ruling, we must rule. ...Let us rule as a majority community". Mrs. Wimala Kannangara M.P., Sinhala Minister for Rural Development, in Sri Lanka's Parliament, July 1981

"I am not worried about the opinion of the Jaffna people... now we cannot think of them, not about their lives or their opinion... the more you put pressure in the north, the happier the Sinhala people will be here... Really if I starve the Tamils out, the Sinhala people will be happy." - President J.R.Jayawardene, Daily Telegraph, July 1983

''The majority in this country are Sinhalese. Without the consent of the majority no one can come into power" - Ven. Galaboda Gnanassara Thera, the Chief Incumbent of Gangaramaya, January 1992

It was the Sinhala attempt to subjugate and assimilate which led, eventually, to the rise of the armed resistance of the Tamil people, led today by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. " If (Sri Lanka President J.R.) Jayewardene was a true Buddhist, I would not be carrying a gun..." Velupillai Pirabakaran, Interview with Anita Pratap, Sunday Magazine, India, March 1984  Self Determination & the 'Multi Ethnic Plural Society' - Nadesan Satyendra, 15 September 1993

The humanitarian crisis in the Wanni is defined by the plight of an estimated 230,000 displaced people and a large number of civilians affected by the recent battles. Reaching food, medicines, fuel, and other essential goods to them in the zone of low-intensity conflict is a major challenge.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, responding to humanitarian concerns raised in Sri Lanka, internationally, and by India in an October 6 d�marche, has promised to overcome the practical obstacles and reiterated (in a telephonic interview to The Hindu) his assurance that �all hardships faced temporarily by our brothers and sisters in the North will be brought to an end in a short time.� The military has charged the LTTE with using civilians as �human shields.�

Comment by tamilnation.org 

croc.gif (30929 bytes)

Sri Lanka Army DPU Claymore Mine attack on Civilians

ஓ....எங்கள் குரல் கேட்கிறதா ?.

...Father M.X.Karunaratnam, Sivanesan Markandu Suman (25)  Pushparaja Jeyanthan (28), Soosaippillai Anton (54) , Arulvaasagam Rosani (31), Charles Joseph Rosanraj(24), Masanat Gilbert Dharsan (22), Antony Thadcruze Christine (26), Mary Angela (47), Mohamed Ali Nanthakumar (26), Kathiresan Ganesan, (43), Kandasamy Manoharan (28), Lawrence Mariyaselvam (32), Jeyachandran Prathap (29), Maiyoor Chandramohan (27), Devadas Christy Prasanna (26), Balasingham Surendran (25), Jesuthasan Jeyasuthan (25), Paramsamy Visaharan (25), Marimuththu Kumutharaj (28), Amirthalingam Alaheswaran (29), Pon Ganeshamoorthy, Manaval Claramma Leela (75), Jesuthasan Jude Nixon (23), Cyrilappar St.Jude (22)  Turairaja Vijekumar (39), Kodalingham Linganathan (20), Abdul Raheem Latheep (28) Mary Medaline (27), Moorthy Martin (35), Ann Nilxon (7), Ann Luxica(9), Ketheeswaran Yathursan (4 months), Ketheeswaran Thanushkanth (4), Palachamy Ketheeswaran (25), Ketheeswaran Anex Ester (23), Abraham Robinson (28), Sellathurai Amalathas (28), Kanesh Navaratnam (50) , Joseph Anthonymuttu ,(64) Sinnathurai Sivanesan (46, Murugesu Shanmugalingam(72), S Kantharoopan (29), Shanmugalingam Parameswari (65), Ratnam Senthuran (38), Somasuntharam Maheswary (60), Vanniasingham Vigneswaran, Thanuskodi  Premini Kasinather Ganesalingam, Thangarasa Shanmuganathan Sujendram, Thambiraja Vasantharajan, Kailayapillai Ravindran, Arunesarasa ,  Satheesharan, .Ramanathan Ratheeskumar, Thanuskodi  Premini, Kasinather Ganesalingam, Thangarasa, Shanmuganathan Sujendram,Thambiraja Vasantharajan, Kailayapillai Ravindran, Arunesarasa  Satheesharan, Thambiah Jeyarajah, Major Kapilan, Thambipillai Selvarajah, Ramalingam Suntheralingam, Kandasamy Vaikunthan, Anthonippillai Soosainather, Thevasahayampillai Jeyakumar Soosainather Subramaniam Sugirtharajan, Chandrakanthan Vijayatharson. Chandragajan Krishnagobi, Illayathamby Ramakrishnan, Thurairajah Ravichandran, Kanapathy Murugesu, Mariyanayagam Maruthanayagam, Suppiah Murugan, Sithambari Ganesaratnam, Visuvar Krishnan Bojan Renuka, Bojan Shanuka, Bojan Arthanageswary, Tharmarasan Tharmaseelan N Kandeepan ,T Tharmasri, Soosaithas K Marinthiran Sebastiampillai P Ruban Selvarajah Uthayarajah, S. Thanabalasingham, Balakrishnan Rajeevmohan, Parimalarajah Robinson, Iyathurai Baskaran, Thangathurai Sivanantha Logithasan Rohanth Shanmugarajah Sajeenthiran,  Manoharan Rajeehar, Yogarajah Hemachandran, Thambirajah Arulajanthan, Joseph Pararajasingham, Jude Sugathy (Theresa) Croos , Jude Arokiyathass Fernando, Emmani Croos, Emmani Anthonikkam Croos, Nadararajah Sivakadadcham , Dharmaretnam Sivaram, Aiyathurai Nadesan, Kumaravel Thambaiah and, over the years, thousands more murdered by Sri Lanka authorities.

On September 1, the Sri Lankan government proposed a �humanitarian corridor� to enable civilians trapped in battle zones to flee from the Tiger-held territories. Conflict-generated problems have cropped up in coordinating the relief work with United Nations agencies and international NGOs. The U.N. recently announced that a major World Food Programme convoy carrying 750 tonnes of food, which attempted to go into the Wanni, was �forced to turn back due to fighting� and that it would seek �renewed security assurances from the two sides before attempting the route again� soon.

This is the kind of humanitarian situation where India�s developed logistical capabilities, combined with substantial fraternal contributions of food, medicine, and fuel, can make a real difference, as was splendidly demonstrated in Sri Lanka in the wake of the 2004 tsunami.

Comment by tamilnation.org  Fraternal humanitarian concern ? �We have a very comprehensive relationship with Sri Lanka. In our anxiety to protect the civilians, we should not forget the strategic importance of this island to India's interests,... especially in view of attempts by countries like Pakistan and China to gain a strategic foothold in the island nation...Colombo had been told that India would "look after your security requirements, provided you do not look around". "We cannot have a playground of international players in our backyard." Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, 24 October 2008

The Tamil Nadu government and political parties can make a handsome contribution to such a timely humanitarian project. It goes without saying that India�s assistance to the Tamils must be routed through the Sri Lankan government and coordinated with the U.N. and reliable international NGOs.�

Comment by tamilnation.org "... இப்போது நன்கொடை வசூல், தானம் உதவி என்று தமிழக முதல்வர் தொடங்கி யிருக்கிறார். இவை எப்படி அங்கு போய்ச் சேரும்? யார் இதை அவதிப்பட்ட மக்களுக்கு வழங்குவது? மத்திய அரசு, இலங்கைக்குத் தொடர்ந்து ராணுவ உதவி செய்வதால், இலங்கைத் தமிழ் மக்களைக் கொன்று குவிக்கத் துணை புரியும், டில்லியிடம் மன்றாட மக்கள் தயாராக இல்லை... "  மத்திய அரசைக் காப்பதா?  இலங்கைத் தமிழ் மக்களைக் காப்பதா? - Janasakthi, Indian Communist Party Official Daily, Editorial, 30 October 2008

Ram�s stature as a Ranking Journalist?

N.Ram (born 1945), with all the panoply at his disposal, projects himself as a ranking Indian journalist. Tamil Nadu has seen quite a few ranking journalists � such as Subramanya Bharathi (1882-1921), R. Kalki Krishnamoorthi (1899-1954), R.K. Narayan (1906-2001) and C.N. Annadurai � Anna (1909-1969). But, N. Ram is not a ranking journalist despite his pompous pretensions.

Bharathi was an eminent Tamil poet, Kalki and Narayan were illustrious story-tellers in Tamil and English respectively, and Anna was a polymath. What has Ram to show for his credit, as achievement for the past 40 years? � Neither a poet, nor a story-teller, and too dumbbell of a kind to be compared with Anna. So, how does one characterize Ram�s credentials? � he has a streak of aligning himself as an intangible asset of Sri Lanka�s Sinhalese politicians in power � whether they be J.R.Jayawardene (via Gamini Dissanayake), Chandrika Kumaratunga (via Lakshman Kadirgamar) and currently Mahinda Rajapakse.

In the above cited editorial, Ram writes about the �bailout package for LTTE� in pejorative terms. What should not be forgotten is that since 1987, it has been the practice of Ram and the House of Hindu in providing �bailout package� to the racist Colombo politicians.

It is evident that not only Ram is na�ve about the history of Sri Lankan Tamils, but also he is clueless about the revolutionary and political history of U.S.A, though he claims to have a post-graduate degree from Columbia University�s graduate school of journalism. On LTTE, the Hindu editorial of 18 October notes,

�It is a dreaded terrorist organisation � described by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as �amongst the most dangerous and deadly extremist outfits in the world� � that claims to be the sole representative of Sri Lankan Tamils and pursues the secessionist goal of �Tamil Eelam� in an uncompromising way.�

There are two issues here. First, as Jawaharlal Nehru wrote in his 1936 autobiography, �It is very easy and very fatuous to condemn persons or acts without seeking to understand the springs of action, that causes the causes that underlie them.� [An Autobiography, 1988- sixth impression, pp. 174-175] towards the use of the T-word by the British imperialists to the militancy of India�s freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, has Ram in any way comprehended the origin of militant violence among the Eelam Tamils, and that it was sponsored on the initiative made by Nehru�s daughter Indira Gandhi? 

Secondly, when did, FBI�s words become the gospel of truth? As I have indicated in one of my previous essays contributed in January of this year,

On Jan. 10, 2008, the venerable Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the USA issued a report entitled �Taming the Tamil Tigers: From Here in the US.� To say the least, I was delighted that the LTTE, at last, has received such a meritorious badge from the FBI. As an institution established 100 years ago, I�d say that the FBI has functioned gallantly as the ultimate arbiter of American bureaucratic morals. I repeat that the FBI has been the �ultimate arbiter of American bureaucratic morals� � and not the arbiter of social, academic and popular morals�. In its 100 years of existence, the celebrated folks who have been named, targeted and harassed by the FBI as �subversives� for their beliefs and deeds surely make a Dream Team of 20th century�s ranking thinkers, literati, scientists, social activists, artists and entertainers. For a sample, I provide the following names who were identified by the FBI as �subversives�: Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, Charlie Chaplin, Sinclair Lewis, Carl Sandburg, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Arthur Miller, Jonas Salk, John Steinbeck, Aldous Huxley, Paul Robeson, John O�Hara, Tennessee Williams and Martin Luther King Jr. Now, what would you say? Isn�t the LTTE and Pirabhakaran in great company?�

So, here is my posture to Narasimhan Ram, the pundit? By the same token, are you willing to concede that all these guys who have been tagged by FBI are subversives?

Narasimhan Ram facetiously regurgitates the Sri Lankan army�s line, that �The military has charged the LTTE with using civilians as �human shields.�� The key phrase here is, �the military�. Whose military is this? What is its current ethnic composition? Do Tamils have representation in this military, according to the population ratio? For comparative relevance here are the numbers for the U.S. armed forces and how the minorities are distributed in the U.S. armed forces. American Blacks, though constituting 12.3% of population are represented in the armed forces at 20.1%. Hispanic Americans, though constituting ~12.5% of the population, have 7.9% representation. Other minorities (Native Americans, Alaskan Natives and Pacific Islanders) make up 6.3% of U.S. armed forces. In sum, minority representation in U.S. armed forces is around 34.4% (source: New York Times Almanac, 2004). Minority Tamil (both indigenous variety and Indian-Tamil variety) representation in the blatantly racist SL armed forces is a state-secret, which even Ram cannot pry out from the President of Sri Lanka.

The 18 October  editorial also claims that the Hindu has had a �telephonic interview� with President Mahinda Rajapakse and repeats his posturing as a savior of �brothers and sisters in the North�. This sort of clich� has been floating in Colombo�s hot air since 1956 and Eelam Tamils never gave any credence for the words of Sinhalese politicians, whether they were uttered in the parliament or in the UN podium or to the editor of the Hindu newspaper. Ram seems oblivious to the fact that Eelam Tamils (with the sole exception of a few political parasites) never placed their trust on the sugar-coated words of leadership of SLFP party, since 1956.

Ram is a master of clich�. His contemptuous needling on �some small political parties and fringe groups in Tamil Nadu have been involved in ineffective chauvinistic propaganda� (18 October editorial) and on the speeches and activities made by leaders of �some fringe groups in Tamil Nadu� (Oct.25th) deserves rebuke. As an ex-Communist apologist (In his earlier incarnation, Ram was a propagandist for the Student Federation of India, Communist Party of India, Marxist � established in 1964) currently parrot-mouthing the virtues of democracy, Ram seems ignorant to the historical facts that some small political parties and fringe groups, both in India and Sri Lanka (such as DMK in Tamil Nadu, SLFP and the Federal Party to which A. Amirthalingam belonged, in Sri Lanka in early 1950s), have been catapulted to power on how they reflect their constituent�s wish-fulfillment.

The Fallacy behind being banned �by nearly 30 countries�

That Narasimhan Ram cannot think on his own is clearly proven, when he rehashes and vomits the propagandist viewpoint of Colombo that LTTE has been banned �by nearly 30 countries�. The logic behind this spurious claim deserves dissection. In what century, does Ram seem to be living? First, over 195 countries are represented in the UN. As of now, that 165 countries have not instituted a ban on LTTE reveals that the decision making process of this �nearly 30 countries� is rather defective, and promulgated for ad-hoc conveniences. Secondly, the prevailing mindset of the political leadership of those 30 countries (touted as �democratic�) has to be checked. The lead players of these 30 countries (such as USA, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Denmark and Australia) have a notorious past as colonial aggressors and plunderers, and majority of nations that received independence during the past 50 years never bother to toe a line taken from an angle of colonial racist mentality.

The claim that �the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi on Indian soil by an LTTE squad� in 1991 resulted in India banning the LTTE may stand out as a politically convenient, nerve-jerk reaction in 1992. Subsequently, a saner and rational notion (call it �karmic view�) has come to prevail among millions of Indians that Rajiv Gandhi was not the first and the last leader to lose his life, due to his timidity, immaturity and reliance on unwise advice from his political handlers. Ram, and his fellow-travellers such as Subramanian Swamy, with an accusatory mindset may turn a blind eye on the faults of Rajiv Gandhi�s imperial dreams and deficits that irked both Sri Lankan Tamils and Sinhalese, in the latter half of 1980s. First amongst Rajiv Gandhi�s errors in dealing with the Sri Lankan Tamil issue was that he betrayed his mother Indira Gandhi�s policies in spirit and execution, and he paid with his life for such a betrayal.

Comment by tamilnation.org Here, we may want to bear in mind the words of Jyotindra Nath Dixit, Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka 1985 /89, Foreign Secretary in 1991/94 and  -On Indira Gandhi and India's Motivations in 1981-83

"...Tamil militancy received (India's) support  ...as a response to (Sri Lanka's).. concrete and expanded military and intelligence cooperation with the United States, Israel and Pakistan. ...The assessment was that these presences would pose a strategic threat to India and they would encourage fissiparous movements in the southern states of India. .. a process which could have found encouragement from Pakistan and the US, given India's experience regarding their policies in relation to Kashmir and the Punjab.... Inter-state relations are not governed by the logic of morality. They were and they remain an amoral phenomenon....."

To learn realistically about how much influence LTTE has on Eelam Tamil lives, Ram and his understudies who report from Colombo for the Hindu and its sister journals, have a time-tested route. In the past, the Hindu reporters such as Nirupama Subramanian, V.S. Sambandan and currently B.Muralidhar Reddy, stationed themselves in the comfort of Colombo and have reported on the Sinhalese-Tamil conflict, regurgitating the inflated, propaganda feeds provided by the Sri Lankan armed forces and other ministeries. As such, almost all of their reports and commentaries suffer from reality deficit. This can be rectified if the reporters bother to live in the Tamil territory for the entire length of their tenure and file their findings on the war. But one hardly doubts, whether the Hindu reporters will sacrifice that much for the purpose of finding the truth. This has not been in their training and tradition.




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