Thursday 25 December 2014

Indian Influence on Military Bases in Jaffna

In her article Elections: CBK-Maithri-Ranil-TNA Eelam deal & Sri Lanka’s National Security’ at published yesterday, Ms Shenali Waduge states:
The memoirs of Nevil Jayaweera (handpicked to be the GA Jaffna in 1963) are referred to recollect and show honor to Mr. N Q Dias (father of Mr. Gomin Dayasri) for his visionary plan to set up military bases in the North taking stock of the possibilities of Tamil Nadu illegal immigrants pouring into Sri Lanka. Again, for petty political motives the reduction of these military bases by JR Jayawardena drastically undermined the national security of the country when Tamil militants began their terror. What Mr. N Q Dias envisaged for which he drew counter measures was proven when in November 2003 the LTTE declared that 35% of its cadres were from Tamil Nadu!
I was surprised by this revelation and this prompted me to read the report at its source. According to that report taken from the Hindustan Times published by the Island:

35% of our fighters are Tamils of Indian origin: LTTE by PK Balachanddran
The leader of the LTTE’s political wing, SP Tamilchelvam, has made the startling revelation that 35 per cent of the fighting cadres of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are Indian Origin Tamils (IOT).

There is a difference between Tamils of Indian origin and Tamils from Tamil Nadu in India. Reading the above report by Shenali Waduge,  I recalled the memory of  my own painful experiences here in Australia where despite my strong protests – I was listed by the Police as ‘Sri Lankan’. It was not only wrong as per the law – but also as per Truth.  When I am interacting with Australians – I  am Australian – albeit a migrant Australian. When I am interacting with Sri Lankans in Sri Lanka – I am Sri Lankan. But when I am ‘told’ in Australia that I am Sri Lankan I object to it strongly because of the sacrifices I have made to become Australian. Likewise I expect Hill Country Tamils of Sri Lanka to be treated by all concerned as Sri Lankans and not as Indians.

During his response to my article ‘ Robbing Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam to pay M G Ramachandran’, published by Sri Lanka Guardian on 13 August 2014,  Mr.  Mano Ganeshan, leader of the Democratic People’s Front highlighted to me that there was a significant proportion of  Hill Country Tamils living in Kilinochchi-Vanni areas. I was able to identify with  this due to my family living in Kilinochchi as farmers, before as well as after the war. Mr. Mano Ganeshan obviously was more conscious than I about their suffering due to being part of the war. 

I am not fearful of Indian invasion and least of all of Hill Country Tamils being a major pathway for India to access Sri Lanka. The above report goes on to state:
Hindustan Times has learnt that Tamilchelvam made this revelation to some Tamil politicians who had met him recently. He had also said that Tiger Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran’s personal bodyguards were drawn from the Indian Origin Tamil community. The leader trusted the Indian Origin Tamils more than he did the indigenous Sri Lankan Tamils, Tamilchelvam is reported to have said. The one million strong Indian Origin Tamil community lives mostly in the plantation areas of Central Sri Lanka. But small communities of them live in the Wanni area also, in Vavuniya and north of it in LTTE held territory.It is possible that the IOT, Tamilchelvam was referring to, were drawn mainly from the Wanni area, from within or close to the LTTE-controlled parts. But it may also mean that the plantations in Central Sri Lanka, set amidst Sinhalese villages, has been a recruiting ground…… The Tamil leaders who had met Tamilchelvam, said that Prabhakaran trusted his IOT cadres more because of the caste factor. Caste prejudice is deeply embedded in Sri Lankan Tamil society. Prabhakaran comes from the fisher caste, while the dominant caste in the Tamil majority North Eastern Sri Lanka, is Vellala. Jaffna, the heartland of "Tamil Eelam", particularly, is Vellala dominated.
As a Jaffna Tamil who has transcended the Caste system I identify with the above statements by Tamil leaders. The above statements confirm also that Prabhakaran would not have been elected as leader of  Jaffna Tamils. By electing Mr. Wigneswaran – Jaffna Tamils have confirmed that they were driven by work related hierarchies when it came to civil administration. Caste system is based on work related structures. If Prabhakaran had not been defeated  by the Government – he would have continued to live as an alien in his own mind due to this caste factor. The mind driven by caste – for better or for worse.
This order of outcome  has also been revealed by Ms Shenali Waduge  in her latest article mentioned above, in which Ms Waduge states:
The announcement of a secret pact with the TNA to remove or reduce military bases is connected to India’s claim that LTTE continues to fight for an Eelam that includes Greater Tamil Nadu, though it does question why India insists on the implementation of the 13th amendment and full devolution unless India too plans to compete for a separate North that the West would like to use as a base for itself in Asia. It also raises the question why India celebrated the 1000th anniversary of the ancient Tamil King Rajendra Chola (1014ce – Rajendra Chola I was the first Indian king to take his armies overseas and make conquests of these territories). India must realize the message it sends out in being proud of ancient Kings that invaded neighboring nations and questions the relevance to the current context of things.’
As per my cultural education, King Raja Raja Cholan, the father of King Rajendra Cholan mentioned above,  captured Anuradhapura area of  Lanka and this resulted in King Mahinda fleeing to Ruhuna area which includes Hambantota -  the local area of  President Mahinda Rajapaksa. It is interesting that Indians would celebrate the above victory  and even more interesting that Ms Shenali Waduge  who seems to be a supporter of Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, would  be concerned - as expected by the Indians!

Invasion fears could occupy the minds of  those who are not confident of their own strength of ownership in a particular area.  The parallel of the capture of King Mahinda has already happened in its contemporary form – through the Tamils of Sri Lankan origin using UN to deliver at the global level. If not for this UN action it is highly doubtful that the Political opposition would have moved to divide and weaken the Mahinda Government. And those Tamils did not come from Tamil Nadu. Tamils who had  similar mind order as King  Raja Raja Cholan were able to work the system to capture and occupy the minds of those who carry similar mind structure as King Mahinda V of Anuradhapura. So long as we live in the past  history would seem to repeat itself.

If even one Sri Lankan of our times of either ethnicity, who believes s/he is Sri Lankan, is punished due to activation of such past – the perpetrator would be attacked by greater force due to accumulation of strength over time – as is the case with interest accumulation. History could be used to learn lessons but not for current benefits. A real owner would share responsibilities as per each one’s / group’s strengths. Ms Waduge is yet to become an owner from being a beneficiary.

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 25 December 2014

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