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TAMIL NATIONAL FORUM
Selected Writings - Fr. Chandiravarman Sinnathurai
Sri Lanka State: A Psychological Assault?
22 March 2008
The Boxing-day Tsunami has devastated many parts of Sri Lanka, particularly the East and the North of the Tamil territories. This writer had returned from abroad to the eastern town of Batticaloa soon after this disaster for some humanitarian work. He was listening to the National news on the radio one morning. What he heard shook him. The state news broadcast was that the Tiger leader Mr V Prabaharan has died in the tsunami. This writer slumped with sadness in the easy chair he was resting in. After a few minutes, he made a telephone call to the local MP, now deceased, Mr Joseph Pararajasingham. He assured him all this was purely government propaganda aimed at dividing and distressing the Tamil people.
The Sinhala Government has continued with such lying without any success, even as we write. Recently, the Sri Lankan state propaganda was that, Praba has been mortally wounded in a bunker attack. After this colossal fib, Praba has been seen in public at many occasions in the Vanni. It is no doubt the Sinhala spin-doctors know that Praba is a potent symbol of Tamil liberation. But the important thing they choose to ignore is that, Praba has become an inspiration -- transcending age, race and nationalities. He is a man who encapsulates a liberative idea; a propelling-rationale; a compelling vision; in order for you to not bow down to state terror, tyranny and hegemony. By ignoring these facts, the Sinhala state promotes a blatant lie. And that lie is to issue several death certificates on Praba - A man alive!
Recently a young Tamil person was writing an essay on Sri Lankan struggle for her university course. Her mate, who happens to be a retired Sri Lankan Army officer’s daughter was helping this person with some ‘facts’ and information on the matter. The first thing ‘her mate’ said was, this writer was later told, that Praba is actually dead long ago, and the Tamils are duped into believing that he is alive and well.
Killing Praba is not the answer to the national problem. And the talk of Praba dead is no longer a valid psychological assault on the psyche of the Tamil nation. It is not that he is invincible. No one is, in a war situation. But to believe that the man is killed when he is alive is like teaching granny to suck eggs.
We now deal with another so-called psychological shift – And that is the Batticaloa elections: Gun point democracy. The Karuna splinter group TMVP [Thamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal], now led by his rival Pillayan, has put forward candidates holding guns to their necks. A certain person, who has currently “won” a seat escaped the clutches of TMVP by running away to Colombo in order that he will not be forced to stand as a candidate. Its public knowledge that, he was brought back without his consent (kidnapped?) to Batticaloa to stand as a winnable candidate. Voters were forced to vote. What a psychological assault. What disgraceful pretence of democracy!
For the Sinhala Army, entering the heart of the Tiger land is proving to be a psychological nightmare. The Tamil Tigers have not lost the will to win. Entry into the Tiger land by the Sri Lankan forces via Mannar is facing enormous set backs including heavy casualties.
The human rights record of the Sri Lankan state is appalling, as always.
What Sri Lanka desperately needs is a psychological boost. And that can only come by when the Sinhala state comes of age of realisation that the State cannot go on suppressing the rights of the Tamils. There will be a turning point in history, and the only feasible solution will be found by division. Not by multiplication of violence, violations and terror.
Let the Tamils live on their territory peacefully and the Sinhalas on their side of the land. It is that psychological paradigm shift one must aim to attain.
Then peace on the ground will be a reality.