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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Selected Writings by Nadesan Satyendra
- நடேசன் சத்தியேந்திரா

Sathyam Commentary
Indian Ocean Region
& the Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom

Nadesan Satyendra

24 May 2007

[ see also The Indian Ocean Region: A Story Told with Pictures
- from Coco Islands to Chittagong, to Visakhapatanam, to Andaman Islands, to Stirling, to Sethusamudram, to Trincomalee, to Hambantota, to Maldives, to Diego Garcia, to Madagascar, to Cochin to Karwar and to Gwador ]

Indian Ocean - Global View

Given the key roles played in the Tamil Eelam struggle for freedom by India, the United States and China (with lesser roles for the European Union, Japan and Pakistan) it is not without importance for the Tamil people to further their own understanding of the foreign policy objectives of these countries - this is more so because the record shows that British Foreign Secretary, Lord Palmerston was right when he remarked 150 years ago

'We have no eternal allies and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.'

States do not have permanent friends but have only permanent interests. And, it is these interests that they pursue, whether overtly or covertly. Furthermore, the interests of a state are a function of the interests of groups which wield power within that state and 'foreign policy is the external manifestation of domestic institutions, ideologies and other attributes of the polity'.

In the end, the success of the Tamil Eelam struggle for freedom will be a function of the capacity of the leadership of the struggle to mobilise its own people and its own resources at the broadest and deepest level - and this means, amongst other things, broadening and deepening the understanding of the Tamil people of the motivations of the international actors in relation to the struggle for Tamil Eelam. Otherwise we will continue to confuse our people by leading them to believe that all that needs to be done is to wake up the international community to the justice of our cause and all will be well. Unfortunately the world is not rotating on the axis of human justice.

In an important sense for the past 25 years and more, it will be true to say that two conflicts have raged in the island of Sri Lanka. One is the conflict arising from the struggle of the people of Tamil Eelam to free themselves from alien Sinhala rule. And the other is the conflict resulting from the struggle between international actors for power and influence in the Indian Ocean region - a struggle reflected in the two geo political triangles: U.S.- India - China relations and China - Pakistan - India relations. For the US we may read the Trilaterals i.e. US, European Union (including UK) and Japan. But that is not to say that the interests of the Trilaterals have always been congruent with each other - Iraq is a recent example.

Furthering our understanding of the strategic interests of the 'international community' (i.e. the Trilaterals, India and China ) will better equip us to engage in the real task of addressing those interests - and indeed, engaging with them. Each one of us (both Tamils and the 'international community') may want to remind ourselves yet again of the words of Sri Aurobindo, written a century ago in June 1907 -

"The mistake which despots, benevolent or malevolent, have been making ever since organised states came into existence and which, it seems, they will go on making to the end of the chapter, is that they overestimate their coercive power, which is physical and material and therefore palpable, and underestimate the power and vitality of ideas and sentiments.

A feeling or a thought, the aspiration towards liberty, cannot be estimated in the terms of concrete power, in so many fighting men, so many armed police, so many guns, so many prisons, such and such laws, ukases, and executive powers. But such feelings and thoughts are more powerful than fighting men and guns and prisons and laws and ukases..."

Each one of us may also want to pay more careful attention to the story line in Gillo Pontecorvo's film, Queimeda -

"... (The captured leader of the liberation struggle) Jose Dolores does not assail his captor; he tries to inspire and convert him. He tells the young man (who guards him) that he does not wish to be released because this would only indicate that it was convenient for his enemy. What serves his enemies is harmful to him. "Freedom is not something a man can give you," he tells the boy. Dolores is cheered by the soldier's questions because, ironically, in men like the soldier who helps to put him to death, but who is disturbed and perplexed by Dolores, he sees in germination the future revolutionaries of Queimada. To enter the path of consciousness is to follow it to rebellion.....Pontecorvo zooms to Walker as he listens to Dolores' final message which breaks his silence: "Ingles, remember what you said. Civilization belongs to whites. But what civilization? Until when?" The stabbing of Walker on his way to the ship by an angry rebel comes simultaneously with a repetition of the Algerian cry for freedom. It is followed, accompanied by percussion, by a pan of inscrutable, angry black faces on the dock. The frame freezes, fixing their expressions indelibly in our minds.."

And perhaps each one of us may also want to pay more careful attention to the words of Professor Johan Galtung , uttered not a hundred years ago (and said not in a film) but more recently in February this year in an interview with a Sinhala journalist -

"..But imagine it happens: Killinochchi is flattened, Mr P is dead, LTTE dissolved. Will the Tamil dream of a Tamil Eelam die? Of course not. It will be revived, and new cycles of violence will occur. And probably new CFAs. And possibly the same mistake, confusing ceasefire with peace, using it as a sleeping pillow to do nothing..."

அச்சம் என்பது மடமையடா, அஞ்சாமை திராவிடர் உடமையடா..

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