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Selected Writings - Chandiravarman Sinnathurai
The Threat of Genuine Negotiations
8 December 2005
It is believed power is never won by the opposition. Invariably, power is lost by governments. For the past 50 some years the Sri Lankan government has concentrated its power to undermine the Tamils. In recent years, the international community seem to have shown some interests in solving the national conflict; though sadly with a lop-sided approach. That is to say, instead of eradicating state terror they have brought pressure to bear upon the Tamil Tigers, ( a socio-politico-military-liberation organisation) with coded signals to dismantle the Tamil military system.
The principle argument the international community employ is that the Tigers must come to their senses and know the truth: And the truth is that they must renounce violence. It is in the act of disarming, ONLY on the part of Tamils, that the idea of peace could be explored. Quite deliberately, this is what the international mainline media establishment (which is a conduit of rampant power) propagate. It sounds good to those who do not care about the ground realities! We wish that the truth was that simple. Power (i.e.; the Sri Lankan government) knows the subtle truth. The government has the key to solve the Tamil national question. The key to peace had been in their hands, dormant since the dawn of independence.
Increasingly the reality [Nijam = truth], nonetheless, is that it is frankly a waste of time trying to convince the government that peace is a virtual impossibility within a unitary state. Let’s face it. There has never been a single moderate Sinhala political party in Sri Lanka. Moderation is a myth.
Both the UNP and SLFP have, from the inception, denied the Tamils their fundamental rights and the dignity to live as equal citizens.
Some Tamils still live, unfortunately, in a ‘cloud cuckoo land’ as they beat their chests as “moderates” trapped in the sentimentalities about their Punchi nonas and Podi Singhos. None of us are haters of the Sinhalas. We, as you guessed it, are opposing a diabolically racist system of governance that is enshrined within the Buddhist unitary state. The Federal Party (Thamil Arasu Katchi) under Thanthai Chelva urged the Sinhala state to accept a federal solution. The state violently beat these Gandhians to pulp as they sat for a peaceful demonstration. As they walked blood-soaked from the Galle Face Green to the parliament building (which was then opposite Galle Face), their fellow Sinhala parliamentarians hooted and brayed with these welcome words: “wounds of war.”
These pompous so-called Tamil moderates have missed the bloody point. Having lost some 18,000 cadres and sacrificed ove the years thousands upon thousands of civilians to pogroms and wars – even after these horrendous genocidal atrocities, if the international community is biased against an autonomous political status for the NorthEast Tamils; then there is something very suspicious indeed!
The Tamils are not barking mad to believe that the Sinhala state is serious about the peace process.
It is believed that some geo-political powers with the connivance of the Sinhala state have indeed adopted some covert tactics against the Tamils during the ‘peace process years.’ All these were serious tactical errors. Sufficient to say that there is always more than meets the eye.
While the so-called peace process was moving in a halting pace, the Western powers, including the emerging regional power the US, have already proscribed the Tamil Tigers as a terrorist organisation. It is an open secret that the Sinhala state tried their best to create Tamil paramilitaries as a “force” ('farce' may be a better term) against the Tigers. No surprise that these paramilitaries are fast becoming spent a political force. The Karuna faction was discarded by the people, especially the Easterners, as a defunct outfit that is primarily given to “wine, women and filthy lucre.” With the covert assistance of the State, the CFA has been constantly breached by these paramilitiaries.
Every move to discredit the Tigers as sole representatives of Tamils on the international arena, in order to remove them as a factor in negotiations was checkmated by the Tigers. Tamil intelligence was pivotal in this out-smarting exercise.
The State is also hopelessly engaged in playing up the Moslem factor. They underplayed the concept of the “Tamil speaking people” which includes, of course, both the Moslems and the Burghers in the NorthEast. The State perilously tried to divide the Easterners from the North and played the Moslems against the Tamils as part of their 'Shadow War' strategy. This they did by blowing the political strength of the Karuna faction out of all proportion and propping up Karuna as a legitimate leader for the Eastern Tamils. In the end, all popped like a soda bottle. However, on balance, it must be said, much sensitive PR work needs doing in the east on the part of the Tigers.
The US and its regional ally are very keen on peace in the region. What is the motive?
The rationale behind the scenes might run like this: “The Tamils offer nothing. They don’t have any “real” power. They don’t have any wealth, so they don’t have any rights.” If Trincomalee could fulfill US geopolitical ambitions in becoming an offshore base for US power, then, an Tamil independent state is problematic. So the covert support by the US and the overt interest of India shown currently in “peace” within a unitary state is a “logical corollary” of their opposition to Tamil independence.
Once the Tamils dislodge Trincomalee from being an “occupied territory,” the US and its allies would approach matters rather differently. To put it bluntly, the only way out of this quagmire at this juncture for the Tamils is to advance an effective option in regard to liberating territories.
Economic warfare is something that the State has waged against the Tamils for many years. Not even the Tsunami could change the mind of Colombo and pave the way for equitable distribution of international aid! A time might come in the not too distant future, when in Colombo’s desperation about losing territory and power, yet again the Tamils will be made the victim of economic embargos. Such thinking might be based on a strategy of last resort, with the flagrant hope that such strangling would turn the masses against the Tigers. It must be noted that the Tamils are quite accustomed to war rations. Dr. Dhanapala’s (the former Colombo peace secretariat chief) UN shuttling might also be another string in the fiddle.
In a recent talk on Palestine; Noam Chomsky pointed out that the US has been blocking a diplomatic settlement of the Israeli occupation for more than 30 years. “The process of preventing a diplomatic settlement has a name. It’s called the ‘peace process’” he boldly exposed.
The West seems to be prejudiced against the Tamil right to self-determination, freedom and independence from the racist regimes in Colombo. We do hope that there would be a genuine shift away from this “plausible deniability” of talking peace while not truely supporting justice. Tamil Eelam would soon be integrated, we hope, in to the international system.
The Tamil Tigers have shown their willingness to engage in pragmatic politics. They are not opposed to negotiations per se. But what is the point in shop-talk engagements, foreign travel, scholarly expositions and the media circus? None of these change the ground reality for the Tamil in the NorthEast. That is the crux of the matter! The Sinhala state considers war for political reasons only. It is the racist card and the suppression of Tamils as traditional adversaries that unmistakably stoke the fire of the Buddhist State machinery. The Colombo government, along with the connivance of foreign forces, has repeatedly tried and failed in eradicating the Tiger factor and the Tamil people's support for them.
The ONLY idea left now for the state is to eliminate the threat of a genuine “one–to-one” negotiation that is coming SOLELY from the Tamil Tigers. 
It is a cardinal fallacy that we can hold a peace process with the Pharaohs of this world. In the story of Moses, even after the plagues, having faced a personal tragedy (the assassination of his heir to the throne), under duress – having let the Hebrew people go for a brief sojourning – the Pharaoh reverted back to square one. Absolute power corrupts absolutely! It took a tsunami to drown the Pharoah's arrogant military domination.
The Western premise for peace at the moment solely relies on dismantling the Tamil military system. In other words, disarming the dispossessed people – this has been the dominant powers' strategy throughout history. The West is no Mary Poppins.
How about trying out?... Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
1] As we write it is reported that the President Rajapakse has invited Norway to continue in its role as a facilitator in the continuation of the peace process.