An Appeal to the Eelam Tamils
“தமிழர் காணும் துயரம் கண்டு
தலையை சுற்றும் கோளே அழாதே..
என்றோ ஒரு நாள் விடியும் என்றே
இரவைச் சுமக்கும் நாளே அழாதே..”
Its been a year since that dreadful day when Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse declared that the war against the LTTE is over. War, being the ugly thing it is, it would seem ironical to say that the day it ‘ended’ was dreadful. But that’s Sri Lanka for us, full of ironies. We are aware of the means employed by the Sri Lankan government to crush the Tamil Eelam liberation movement and the genuine demands of the Tamil people. We know the thousand untold sufferings that the forcefully detained Tamil civilians are facing in the IDP camps. We also know the role played by the international imperialist powers and the regional big brother, India, in facilitating the genocide of the Eelam Tamils. Numerous debates, discussions, conventions, protests, demonstrations and tribunals have been organized to highlight the plight of the Eelam Tamils. Yet, things continue as before in Buddha’s country.
A Tamil from Tamil Nadu, I write this with great shame and frustration, but also with hope. Shame at our inability and impotency to do anything solid while you, our brethren, got butchered. Frustration with the Tamil politicians-cum-agents who built their political castles with your bones. If the way the various TN political parties manipulated mass sentiments was bad, the way the Tamil society slipped into inertia after the war was worse. What happened in Sri Lanka was not a war on the LTTE, it was a war on the Tamils. Unfortunately, the Tamils here did not respond to the situation in the way they should have. This is but a reflection of the rotten socio-political order that exists in TN and it will take quite some time before the scenario changes here. But I have hope, I have faith that the Eelam Tamils will not take these humiliations lying down, that the ‘defeat’ of the LTTE is only a temporary setback to the struggle.
As Tamils, we are used to hearing stories of the military exploits of our ancestors, sagas of heroic personalities and tales of daring kings. Today, we can say confidently that the Tamil Tigers have outshined all the accomplishments of our past heroes and stand as examples worthy of emulation not just for the Tamils, but for all struggling peoples the world over. Indeed, Prabhakaran is a revolutionary icon for the Tamil youth of the world just as Che Guevara is for the Latin American youth. However, I fear that just like Che, Prabhakaran will be reduced to T-shirts, banners and posters while his message for revolutionary political action takes a backseat.
Of late, the Tamil diaspora has been busy with procedures regarding the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam. While I don’t underrate the importance of such measures, somehow I feel that it is being considered as an end in itself. Comrades, Tamil Eelam can be established only through struggle IN Eelam, BY the Eelam Tamils. That is primary. The activities in other countries complement that struggle, but they can never replace it. As Prabhakaran said, “the success of our struggle depends on us, not on the world. Our success depends on our own efforts, on our own strength, on our own determination.” The priority now is to revive the movement in Tamil Eelam. For as Com. Ravindran points out, “The war led by the LTTE was an inspiration for all those who are fighting against exploitation, injustice and oppression” (People’s Truth, Sep 2009). Likewise, the defeat of the LTTE was not only a blow to you, but also a boost to the various reactionary governments facing similar movements. The Indian ruling class and their media agents find the Sri Lankan solution appropriate to crush the various struggling nationalities as well as the people’s revolutionary movement in central India. Even far-off countries like Turkey, Israel, Colombia and others feel emboldened that they can finish off their problems through such brutal military means. The Tamil movement has to rise again now, not just to prove the Tamil Tigers right but also to prove these paper tigers wrong. Also, you will have to come out of your isolation and join hands with revolutionary forces and oppressed nations across the world. Yours is but part of a global struggle for freedom and justice.
But the Lankan state is triumphant, all-powerful and is aided by big powers, is it not? Comrades, the Sinhala-chauvinist ruling classes are not fearful, they are fear-full. Like all tyrants and enemies of the people, Rajapakse and co. are afraid of the people they oppress. They fear that someday, someway the hand of justice will rise to hit back at them and their oppressive machinery. This is the reason why they seek to turn the captured areas of Tamil Eelam into Sinhala colonies and inflict horrors upon the Tamil people. They seek to crush you politically, physically and psychologically because they fear your strength. But as Prabhakaran observed, “As long as there is oppression and suffering, as long as there are people deprived of freedom, there will be liberation struggles.” It is in this dark hour of brutal repression that you need your strength more than ever. The Indian govt aided Lanka’s genocide, but the struggling masses of India and the nationalities she oppresses are with you. The Tamil Nadu govt and the political parties might have betrayed you, but the Tamil masses are with you. Even should you lose faith in us, the inactive activists, please keep faith in your people, the goal of Tamil Eelam, the sacrifice of your martyrs. The Unceasing Waves of Tamil resistance cannot stop. They should not.