22 November 2022
Conversation with a Tamil Diaspora Elder (TDE)
TDE :[The last one third of the population, had included , like in any large society, persons criminally bent, up to all kinds of skullduggery: from petty thefts, to murder & mayhem - rape and drug peddling etc., All these ceased as soon as the LTTE took control of the N/E - during that period the tigers ran the administration in an authoritarian manner.]
Gaja: As you ought to know by now, I reside in Thunaivi when I go to Northern Sri Lanka. Most of the above qualities apply to them also. But that area is EPDP managed. NOT LTTE. The government offices have NOT moved there as promised due to fear of both – the People as well as EPDP. Many of them get jobs in government through EPDP. This is their reality. I do not interfere with them and they do not cross my path.
TDE :[You state that the LTTE was ‘known’ to have been “involved” in drug trafficking to make money for their stated cause , is not based on any reliable evidence.]
Gaja: You expect evidence because you are an ‘outsider’. I learnt about it through a close family member who is part of the LTTE Diaspora. A senior in that group is now in a high official position and hence I keep his name confidential. But I disciplined my family member who was feeling sorry for the guy who ‘got caught’ trafficking. To me, it is most reliable belief based sharing. If you also cared about such disenfranchised groups you would use the sharing to get to know those groups better. As an outsider, you would ‘fear’ living in that area. I was anxious but I would almost continuously invoke my paternal grandmother who lived on her own in Araly until 87. She groomed 10 children. On the night she had the fatal fall we were there. She did not die alone. This is the amazing truth. Whenever I felt anxious in Thunaivi, I invoked my Aachi / grandmother. Intoxicated youth tried to intimidate me. I would then go away but only for a short time. The way LTTE was right for them and others of their culture, these folks are right for themselves. When I live there as part of their community , I have to use their laws. Even my husband is not allowed to directly discipline them. Mr Kanageeswaran’s holiday home is on the other side – the senior caste side. He never comes this side.
TDE :[Thus drug trafficking had not been needed nor resorted to by the LTTE]
Gaja: I draw your attention to the following part of your response:
[Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP , after collaborating with the government, made available to the State , most of the LTTE gold: a Sinhalese gentleman who had been one of the top economic advisers in the ministry of finance, told me that this gold was more than sufficient to adequately aid the government to sustain itself up to a point, between 2010 and 2015] and also to [The LTTE obtained a sovereign gold from a majority of Tamil families in the North and the East . Again several families gave the gold voluntarily, many reluctantly parted with the gold after some friendly persuasion! still others had been compelled to give the gold due to open intimidation.
If this gold was purely local, then by hoarding it, they confirm that they lacked the skills to develop public infrastructure. This happens with ‘stolen’ money. The monies willingly donated would have been actively used for ‘fighting’. The right approach would have been to donate it to UNDP. But when they think they are right, there comes a time when they begin hoarding.
The monies donated to them would at best work only for their community which excludes ‘Tamils committed to Democracy’
TDE [Only those folks affected by the harsh kangaroo courts of the LTTE , slandered the Tigers]
I do not know of any Tamil who ‘slanders’ the Tigers. Many do oppose them and that is healthy in democracy.
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