06 June 2012

Expatriate Tamils and the dimensions of culpability

Imagine the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which few would describe as anything other than a terrorist organization, running around in the jungles of the Vanni, occasionally blowing up a bus or carrying out a suicide attack in Colombo. Imagine the LTTE ambushing the occasional Army patrol, stealing uniforms, guns and ammunition.

Imagine also a Tamil population of expatriates made of people who had the wisdom to see that something that begins in Vadukkoddai with a nod to armed insurrection ends in the Nandikadaal Lagoon ; a Tamil community living abroad that eschews violence and would have no truck with terrorism.

A brave Tamil community, let’s say, that said no to extortion and abhorred those who would not think twice about making bucks out of illegal activities such as credit card fraud, human and arms smuggling, drug trafficking etc., in order to fund terrorist activity; a set of individuals who as a community or in their majority even if they supported the idea of a separate state would give up on the ‘liberator’ the first time he recruited a Tamil child to be deployed in military activities including suicide attacks, never mind the first time he sent a bayonet through a baby’s chest.

Assume too that the lie of unbearable discrimination, both relative and absolute, was not referenced by those who needed to justify ‘refugee status’, and that it need not have been buttressed by the reality of the clash of arms and therefore fed the need for perpetual war.

No, we didn’t see a ‘Tamil Expatriate Community’ which was marked by the characteristics stated above.

I am convinced, though, that the majority of Tamils living abroad did not identify themselves with the LTTE, even if they were not averse to the idea of a separate state for Tamil people. Sadly, though, the decisions to support in one way or another did not ensue from a secret ballot on the particular issue. Sadly too, even a small minority and one that is not beholden to anyone nor constrained by fear of reprisal, legal or otherwise, can harm, can aid and abet. And that, ladies and gentlemen was a key factor that impacted the conflict and its perpetuation for three decades.

Let us be clear: every single person who supported the LTTE and every single person who supported the Sri Lankan armed forces were in fact raising their hands to ‘War’; every single person who misread the LTTE, believed it was invincible and therefore advocated strategies that strengthened the terrorists also said yes to ‘terrorism’, to death and destruction. There are no ‘guiltless’ in times of war. And ‘degrees’ of guilt is not salve enough for the aggrieved, who, one must remember are also culpable, one way or another.

But let’s come to January 2009. By this time it was abundantly clear what the outcome would be. The LTTE would be defeated. Now, if the expatriate Sri Lankan Tamils and their foreign friends truly believed their self-propagating claim of a genocide-pursuing Sri Lankan Government, then they would have had to envisage a carnage amounting to at least 300,000 Tamils being slaughtered in the event that the LTTE, which held these people hostage and as a human shield, refused to let them go

It is now revealed that as late as April 17, 2009 (as recorded by the then US Ambassador, Robert O Blake who can be described as the quintessential Meddling Yankee who actually spared no pains to save the behinds of the LTTE leadership right up to the Nandikadaal Denouement) the movers and shakers of the expatriate Sri Lankan Tamil community ‘refused to persuade the LTTE to release its (sic) civilians’.

There can be no ‘Tamil Struggle’, just or unwarranted, without Tamils, and the possible slaughter (as per perception of the Sri Lankan armed forces) of 300,000 Tamils shows up these Tamil expatriates and the true dimensions of their supposedly bleeding hearts (for the ‘Tamil Cause’).

Under these circumstances and given the clearly horrendous and unpardonable politics of these Tamil expatriates, it is not surprising that they’ve continue to decorate the edifice of lies that justified refugee status and lined bank accounts. What is as unpardonable is the fact that the word of these anti-Tamil ‘despicables’ still has currency among certain ‘world leaders’ and UN officials, never mind Channel 4 (proved beyond a shadow of doubt to have absolutely no regard to media ethics, civilized and balanced reporting and general human decency).

Those who funded and armed the LTTE, who waxed lyrical about Tamil civilians and made careers out of espousing a ‘Tamil Cause’ wanted the Tamil civilians held hostage by the LTTE killed and if those civilians can count anyone as ‘saviour’, it is the Sri Lankan armed forces.

There is no ‘deadline’ for self-deception. The pro-LTTE sections of the Tamil expatriate community can believe their own lies to their individual graves. As for the others, well, silence is easy but culpability is not dished out to only those who object vocally.

[Also published in the 'Editor's Blog' of The Nation website, www.nation.lk]


fayaz said...

Bless you and may the Allah we believe in also bless you.

you've done justice to our land and say things as they are..

i endorse everything you say here..

warm regards

sajic said...

Malinda, you speak of expatriate Tamils. Many Tamils left this country because they had to, not because they wanted to. But lets start at the beginning-pre-independence. The British did the Tamils no favours by favouring them in Govt Service-at Independence the percentages were vastly disproportionate, no doubt about that. Successive Govts tried 'to mend matters',but by DISCRIMINATION-according to ethnicity. They tacitly acknowledged that the minorities were not citizens of this country. The LTTE was a direct result of resentment and anger caused by this.
Certainly, AT THAT TIME the majority of Tamils would have felt that they needed a separate state.
In 30 years too many people have died in the North, South, East and West.
The govt SEEMS to be moving in the correct direction. Progress is slow, but it seems to be there.
Dont you think your article is unnecessarily inflammatory?

Patta Pal said...

Expatriate LTTE sympathizers must be neutralized. There is no concerted effort at doing so by the SL govt. as it acts as if all govts. where significant expatriates live are partial.

If so, countermeasures are called for, instead of giving them more ammunition by a traitorous govt. intent on dragging this issue for political gain.

This govt. will bare how bankrupt it is once the issues relating to one nation are resolved,so fear is the order of the day, and you have done nothing to eliminate let alone reduce that fear by continuing this charade.

Anonymous said...

I think the article says things that HAVE to be said given the distorted versions of the situation dished out by the 'west' and their miserable tools like the INGOs and media organizations.

I think that article such as this (though they may seem inflammatory)are necessary to expose the diaspora and some local Tamil politicians who are leading the Tamils once more on the path of destruction.

sajic said...

anonymous. The entire diaspora are not pro-LTTE.As I said many left this country because they had to leave. But the govt must be seen to be doing the right things.
Certainly pro LTTE diaspora must be exposed, as must pro LTTE Tamil politicians.

Anonymous said...

I believe that Malinda has pointed out that the Government needs to do more in terms of the 'right things' vis-a-vis not only the Tamils but for all citizens.

But the what the diaspora and Tamil political leaders do seems to be the opposite of what they say they like to do.

For instance is it possible to arm-twist someone to reconcile - like what the UNHRC is trying to do?

Is it reasonable to expect the Sinhala people to reconcile with or even believe someone who is intent on disgracing the political and military people who removed terrorism from Sri Lanka?

Do the Colombo (and diaspora) people who talk of human rights and justice even realize the fear and hardship that villagers in the 'border villages' and people who travelled by public transport had to live with for 20 something years?

Anonymous said...

Until we treat people of different ethnicity equally as Sri Lankans, resentment is bound to exist. There are hardly any Tamils or Muslims in any of the three forces, except perhaps in the North and East. The Tamil language too is ignored in some government offices causing unnecessary inconvenience. Some years ago I witnessed a Tamil man reporting a theft at a Colombo Police Station only to be confronted with questions as to what he was doing and how he got there. The Tamils (and Sinhalese) who fled the country for their own safety now find them denied inheritance rights as foreigners.