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TAMIL NATIONAL FORUM
Selected Writings - Fr. Chandiravarman Sinnathurai
Sri Lanka: Kissing Distance to Being Trapped
30 December 2008
The President of Sri Lanka has psyched up the Cingalam - the hegemonic power: Sinhala state, Sinhala people and Sinhala armed forces into a war frenzy under girded by the 'verge of victory' propaganda. This could however be a fatal tipping-point. Should the victory slip the hands of the Rajapaksha regime the Cingalam would scapegoat the President and his brothers in arms. It will back fire.
The regime would be trapped without mercy. This is their making - the beginning of their own un-making.
There are of course, reasons for us to say this. Firstly, the Cingalam had been saying for weeks and months that they are at a kissing distance to capturing the Tiger power centre. It is yet to happen. All would understand that, for a liberation movement, their power is not concentrated in a so-called "Seat of power". In other words, not in a certain place. The capture of Kilinochi, if it were to happen, will only be a symbolic victory. A powerful psychological victory, nevertheless. Whether it'll happen is down to pure speculations.
But the power is located for a Movement in its people. This is something neither Karuna nor Pillayan could command. The Tigers are yet to lose the people power. That is a serious miscalculation on the part of the Cingalam.
There is also another reason. The recent interview to the media by the Tiger political-wing chief Bala Nadesan has put the onus on the power of the TAMIL PEOPLE (Both in Eelam and the Diaspora) and played down the Tamil Tiger prowess. There are two points that needs to be underscored.
Bala Nadesan emphasised that the Tamil Tigers is a Peoples' Movement. It is not a terrorist out fit but a counter-hegemonic movement. Therefore, in a true sense, the Tigers is created by the people, for the people, and of the people.
Furthermore Bala added, Rajapaksha demanding Tigers to disarm in order to engage in Talks is only a hoodwinking strategy. "We took up arms in order to defend our people" he argued. 'While our people are constantly being bombarded by state forces, we cannot and will not disarm.' He made the point clearly.
One can say, as the British Government did with IRA, first there must be Talks and then as Talks progresses there could be a internationally supervised decommissioning of arms. Without any such arrangements, Tamils are not fools to take the word of Cingalam on face value.
The centrality of the self-determination of Tamils must be the main thrust of Talks.
Talks aside, Bala Nadesan's interview could also be read between the lines. It might be the strategy of the Tigers is to play down their strength and power. To portray them as weak. This could be an open invitation for the Cingalam to simply walk into a trapů
Victory in this war is a slippery slope.