Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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United States & the struggle for Tamil Eelam

Sri Lanka Presidential Elections,
US State Department & Reason

22 November 2005

United States condemns LTTE interference in democratic process, 20 November  2005
SL Military, not LTTE, is intimidatory presence - Thamilchelvan 22 November  2005
Comment by tamilnation.org

The United States condemns LTTE interference in the democratic process. November  20, 2005

Colombo: While congratulating newly elected President Mahinda Rajapaksa on his victory at Thursday's polls, the United States has condemned the LTTE for intimidating voters at the election.

The US State Department said, “The United States regrets that Tamil voters in the northern and eastern parts of the island did not vote in significant numbers due to a clear campaign of intimidation by the LTTE.”

Department spokesperson Adam Ereli said, “As a result, a significant portion of Sri Lanka's people were deprived of the opportunity to make their views known. The United States condemns this LTTE interference in the democratic process.”

He also said the US looks forward to working with President Rajapaksa as he “confronted many significant and immediate challenges.

“They include the need to strengthen a ceasefire agreement and bring renewed vigor to the peace process so that progress may be made towards a negotiated solution that meets the aspirations of all Sri Lankans,” Mr. Ereli said.

“We remain committed to maintaining the historically close ties between our two countries,” he added.

SL Military, not LTTE, is intimidatory presence - Thamilchelvan [TamilNet, November 22, 2005]

Denying accusation they had intimidated Tamils into not voting in last week’s Sri Lanka Presidential election, the Liberation Tigers said the boycott by the Tamil people last week was a reflection of prevailing Tamil sentiments towards Sri Lankan leaders, based on their bitter experiences of the past. The near total boycott by Tamil voters took place despite the oppressive presence of thousands of Sri Lankan troops and Army-backed paramilitaries in Jaffna and other parts of the Northeast, the LTTE's Political Head, Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan, told TamilNet Tuesday.

“The reality was that the Tamil people, faced with intimidation by the all pervasive presence of Sri Lankan troops, Army-backed paramilitary cadres and intelligence operatives delivered a message against intimidation by the military," he said.

He questioned how the allegation of intimidation could be levelled against the LTTE when the voters in question were living under the guns of the occupying Sri Lankan forces?

He also pointed out that LTTE members had long ago been withdrawn from SLA held areas in the wake of Sri Lankan military intelligence supported paramilitary attacks on them.

“There are forty thousand Sri Lankan troops in Jaffna alone exercising a clear intimidatory presence,” Mr. Thamilchelvan said. “Nevertheless, there was a record low in polling in Jaffna.”

“Those who allege that the Tamil people were intimidated not only fail to understand the ground reality prevailing in the Tamil homeland in both political and historical context, but also fail to interpret the message the people have given,” he said.

"The reality today is that the tsunami and war displaced people are enduring flood damage in temporary shelters despite four years of peace" Mr. Thamilchelvan, who was monitoring relief work amongst floods in the Vanni, told TamilNet.

"Our stand, as representatives of the Tamil people, on Colombo’s elections, was a reflection of what the vast majority of Tamil people felt,” he said.

“Our conclusion [on the elections] was thus a reflection of the prevailing views of the Tamils. We, as the representatives of the Tamil people have simply adhered to the principle of reflecting that view," he further said.

Mr. Thamilchelvan further pointed out that the LTTE had not ordered Tamils to boycott the elections, but had refused to mobilise for or against any of the Sinhala candidates contesting.

"All access was provided to election monitors if they so wished. Roads were open," the LTTE's Political Head said.

He added that election monitors were still welcome to take up the complaints against the LTTE "issue by issue” and “to examine the circumstances concerned in-depth."

Comment by tamilnation.org

That the US State Department is pained with the result of the Sri Lanka Presidential election is understandable - "If only the Tamils had voted for the US favoured 'market reform' candidate, Ranil Wickremasinghe, the result would have been so different."  Robert Burns wrote more than two hundred years ago -

“The best-laid plans of mice and men,
often go astray -
And leave us naught but grief and pain,
For promised joy.” 

Denied of the promised joy, it appears that grief and pain has led the US State Department to deny reason. The State Department would have its audience believe that in the Jaffna peninsula with the visible presence of around 40,000 Sri Lankan troops, (one for every ten resident Tamil) , the Tamils were somehow 'intimidated' by the LTTE to refrain from voting, so much that only 1% of the registered voters exercised their franchise. At the same time, for the State Department, the hundreds of  thousands of Tamils at  Pongu Thamizh gatherings in October and November 2005  were also somehow intimidated by the LTTE to participate and call for the removal of  the Sri Lankan Sinhala army from the Tamil homeland.

And the State Department would also deny the facts spoken to by Arthur Rhodes in Sri Lanka's Presidential Election: Why the Tamils did Not Vote  and dismiss the view that he expressed two days before the election: "If the Tamil vote on Thursday's election is untraditionally low, analysts across the island will write for days of the LTTE's election boycott and its consequences on the outcome. If Rajapakse actually wins, the Tamil people will be cited as pawns in the great LTTE elections coupe of 2005.There is a danger, though, that the actual truth -- that at least some Tamils feel hopelessly apathetic toward their nation's political system -- will be summarily forgotten. Ironically, many of the Tamils who choose to abstain will do so because they are disenchanted with a system that has long ignored their voices."

This ofcourse is not the first occasion that the State Department has denied reason. It denied reason some twenty years ago, when in the aftermath of the 1983 genocidal onslaught on the Tamil people, the State Department described Sri Lanka as 'open, working, multiparty democracy' where the 'Constitution guarantees the independence of the judiciary, and lawyers and judges are held in high esteem'. It denied  reason more recently in supporting the one sided EU declaration of  26 September 2005. 

The story about the wolf and the lamb comes to mind. It is one of Aesop's fables. It is an old story. Many of us have read the story when we were young children - or perhaps had the story read to us.

"One day a Lamb went down to the brook to get a drink. A Wolf saw him and wanted to quarrel with him so as to have a good excuse for eating him up. While the Lamb was drinking, he went and stood by the brook, a little farther up, and cried out:—

"See here, you Lamb! How do you dare to muddy the water that I am about to drink?"

"How can I muddy it?" said the Lamb. "You are higher up the stream than I am, and the water runs away from you, towards me."

"Well, you called me names last summer," said the Wolf, "and now I am going to punish you for it."

"Last summer?" said the Lamb. "That was before I was born, and how could I call you names?"

"At any rate," said the Wolf, "you are trying to make out that I am a fool; and I won't stand that, from you or anybody else." And with that he seized the Lamb and ate him up.

It is so with some men and children. When they have made up their minds to do wrong, they are sure to find some sort of excuse for it." (as related at the Baldwin Project)

It seems that states also, when they have made up their minds to do wrong, are sure to find some sort of excuse for it. But, in the end, real politick goals  will not be achieved by denying reason - and GNP is not necessarily a measure of wisdom.  Vietnam and the Iraq quagmire are continuing reminders of these truths.And perhaps, R.Cholan was  right to ask the international community: "What exactly do you want the Tamil people to do?" 

But, then again the Tamil people are not lambs - and they certainly have no wish to make the State Department look foolish.  The Tamil people have sufficient wisdom to judge for themselves  as to where lies truth - and act accordingly. They are, after all, a reasonable people.



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