கவனிக்க: இந்த மின்னூலைத் தனிப்பட்ட வாசிப்பு, உசாத்துணைத் தேவைகளுக்கு மட்டுமே பயன்படுத்தலாம். வேறு பயன்பாடுகளுக்கு ஆசிரியரின்/பதிப்புரிமையாளரின் அனுமதி பெறப்பட வேண்டும்.
இது கூகிள் எழுத்துணரியால் தானியக்கமாக உருவாக்கப்பட்ட கோப்பு. இந்த மின்னூல் மெய்ப்புப் பார்க்கப்படவில்லை.
இந்தப் படைப்பின் நூலகப் பக்கத்தினை பார்வையிட பின்வரும் இணைப்புக்குச் செல்லவும்: Tamil Times 1995.04
Vol XIV No.
Wol.XIV No.4 15 APRIL 1995
TA MIL TIMES LTD
P.O. BOX 1. SLUTTON, SURREY SM || 3TD UNITED KINGDOM
Phone: 0 181-544 0972 Fax: 0 1811-1241 4557
Wicws Xpressed by contributors are mot necessarily thosc of the editor or publishers
The publishers assume no
responsibility for returrl of L1 risolicited Tna, ri u scripts, photographs or artwork
G0vt Lifts Banan Fuel & Fishing.
President's Letter to LT TE LEāder, , , , , , . . . . . . . . . . .
President's Balancing Act. During Wisit to lidia, , ,
Place Process. Parties Sould Agree of Agenda & Time Frame, , .
Peace Process Rescued FOT Brink of Disaster, , , , , , ,
National & |terrialisha | Udi UIIS Ripe for Peace. . . . . . . . . . . . . . , .
LTTE LOoking for FEdral Solution, , . . . . . . . . . . . .
Chandrika, LT TE Td the T = Till COfflict. . . .
TTP PeaCe est — Understanding Reality, . . . . . . . . .
Misconceptions and Anxieties in a Tiff= Lf Chlärge - - - - - . . . . . . . . . 18
Marxiss T arid Ethnicity. . . . . . . . . .20
Su-Critirhental SCma. . . . . . . . . 21
T= Til Nadu Newsletter. , , , , , , , , 호
21 April, Culutil hall north Illilita g )''r'' Thirt. If Liberation Tige Il LTTE I cu IIe li : dictable ill ; ; wher i liwr') gun bo Sri Lankan may Tri ILC III:lle har L'Wi squad8 of Su länting Lurlederw;: W LIS-SEels, Twelwe ni and twenty one attack,
Sin Luli: Teously :rı III lent describi: attack, the peace resident Mrs. :Illingail cilitier Lil' ; alls) : LI LTJ Lunced til Lhe process.
Ther: was muc pricess was bacl the lifting of the transpor tu the il en 18 including fl the acciriliili Islati Cf Prusicdet EKur 12 April Isec ра leäder.
T'lı e goverıııı KLI III: raturgh A. a Tilled forces wi hern Completely allick in Trinitial russions. The sec. hii ve been enjoyi the last three in mapping. In a sta :derni or a Timmy cafli saying, "We were Tilly did not eve two blurs notice 315 requiTed Lincle the Cessation of lap5e of the Lrugt of the glimboats Tigers' withdraw OCCSS is wig
L 1995, 90p
- The three-and-a- .lry trulce betwee:rı tı: - Sri I:1, k: 1 til "5 Çıf: Tirmil Feları III abrupt and un preJEJ LI! 1 FEIL I» i 19 April ats belonging to the y nich mred mff the lur were sunk by icide "Sea Tigers' by LI IT FT li ress din the twil avy men were killed Ilure injured in the
with what the govdi als this Lurlığı rivoked ! process initiated by
Chırılrik: KırılarAr1 end as the Tigers heir withdrawal frill
h hope that the peace i. in trick following four-year hall on the - Ilirth of tissential II:l, il rid as Tiany felt, Tığg time Th d content na ratunga's letter of ge B, to the LTTE
It of Preside: 1 rnal Lhı e2 Sri Luizin kimi Iuld appear to hay
ll.:I bi:k l he Tn Hle and its reper urity forces to which 1g iı bIʻ.::ı Ll14:r qlLurii hg! 1 Con this were caught te of exaisperation, a "L'r was quoted as
totally unprepared. r. give, Lhe Seventyof their withdrawal I the DL: Lili Lillion of Halili Li-3. THEs cryl
:All the bly wing up ilccompillied by th: ill from the place d as a near-mortal
thdraw. From Peace Process Resumes as Gunboats Are Sunk
LSE Aus. Salaa. | CETED USA 535 AIOther Countries, ES5
low Li El President's project for the restoration (f peace.
Shortly before the attack, the LTTE leader, Mr. Well pillai Pirabaka Tail, hal despatched a letter to President Mrs. Chandrika Kumaratunga stating that the response of the government at two very importarit iss Lies, Italin-ly the Teriival of the Pineryn army camp ln the nurth and the freedom Lø carry arms by LTTE cadres in the 4:18; Literi 1 r.) vir CL was I CIL acceptable է Լյ the Tigers, and therefore the LTTE was compelled to withdraw from the peace process itself. The contents of the LTTE leader's letter were relayed weer thu: "Wil:: #f Tige:Irs' ırı HıE I Turning of 19 April after the attack. In the grabāts. According til a gwerrı Tient spokesman, the Trinic Imalee attack occurred ever before the President hild title Labsorb the coral-ills if the
T"TE ELEros litter.
The LTTE gilder's Etter ilso siliel that after nor: than six IIlonths exchange of views between the parties, the solitary positive outcome Wils th: goverrillent's decision to lift the econoInic embargo. But there had her deliberate attempts to slow down the pri iccess of iri ipulic-Imigrintaj tiel , ;arid hero letter wais : wallsiv, ter Inperising or procTastinating on other issues raised hy the ITTE. The givernment was alsŲ Expliciting the cessation of hostilities to buildil Lupo its li rII Lied strieering li hi which was Hgainst the spirit of the ägreement.
The initial response of the goverrTier1t appearerd ta' treat the Trincomales incidert 18 an isolatel InE änd to salvage what was left of the peace proces: in which il had invested So Timuch. The security forces were Ordered not to go in any offensive Lop:rlli T18, but to respUnd Only in self defence.
Continued on page 3
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Continued from page 1 While putting the security forces on alert, it also re-imposed an embargo on the transport to the north of 19 items including fuel and fertilisers. A total ban on fishing in northeastern waters was also re-imposed. Claiming that the Trincomalee incident was a setback but not a defeat for the peace process, a government statement said that it would do its utmost to forestall any attempts to provoke the commencement of one more disastrous war. The decision of the LTTE to terminate the cessation of hostilities was in total disregard of the stated aspirations of all sections of the Sri Lankan people. All those who act against the people would, no doubt, be considered enemies of the people. The Tamil people in the North and the East as well as their brethren in the rest of the country have expressed their unshaken faith in the Government's policy and its commitment to achieve peace, the statement added.
Proving that the Trincomalee attack was not an isolated one as the government’s statement hoped, further incidents, including a major assault on an army camp in which thirty seven soldiers were killed, that occurred on subsequent days seem to confirm the fear that Eelam War III had already begun.
Around midnight on Wednesday 19 April, within 24 hours of the Trincomalee incident, there was an outbreak of fighting around the military base at Palaly in the northern Jaffna peninsula. The army claimed that the fighting started when the Tigers began firing mortars and rocket-propelled grenades at the army bunkers located at the perimeter of the base and the army returned fire.
On Friday 21 April, Sri Lankan forces went on the offensive against the LTTE when the navy bombarded and shelled alleged Sea Tiger bases at Nagar Koil along the most northerly point of the Jaffna peninsula. Reports indicate that Gurunagar, coastal village in Jaffna also had come under heavy naval shelling.
The complete ban on fishing around the northern and eastern coast suggested that the navy was going to target the LTTE's naval wing, the Sea Tigers.
As if to confirm that the war has resumed in earnest, around midnight on 21 April, the LTTE launched a full scale surprise assault on a remote army camp near the village of Kattumurivikkulam in the eastern Batticaloa district in which at least thirtyseven soldiers were killed or missing and forty-one injured. Military sources confirmed that the army camp was completely over-run before being later recaptured by army reinforcements
following a fierce b that at least 14 Ti of an attacking fo hundred strong.
For the first tim Alliance Governme August last year, operations allegedl "Tiger operatives' ombo. Experience il operations mean ra ly young Tamils hotels. From 20th have engaged in a ing suspected Tige the process taken two hundred pers that after interrog taken into custod explanation for th ombo have beer arrests follow gove the LTTE might government instal political assassin politicians.
Reactions from the resumption ol quick and unprece States would app full diplomatic wei ernment in Colo worded statement ment in Washin attack on the nava that the Tamil Ti, bear the responsi process ultimately statement also as to persevere with political solution a to rejoin the searc.
The European representing mos European nations, LTTE's decision to as unjustified urge a positive response initiative and star political settlement
Canada also joi condemning the II the truce. The For ter urged the LTTE negotiated settlem
The turn of ev opportunity to th south and even a groups who doubt of the Tigers to sa They have been po ance of the Tigerst talks to end the the preconditions posing before such The EPDP and F
TAMIL TIMES 3
attle. They also said gers were killed out frce of nearly three
he since the Peoples ent came to power in
search and arrest y aimed at catching has begun in Colnas shown that such punding up of main
from hostels and n April, the police campaign of seekir operatives and in
into custody over ions. It is reported ation, most of those y who had a valid eir presence in Colreleased. These rnment's fears that launch attacks on lations and commit ations of leading
foreign countries to f fighting has been dented. The United 2ar to have put its ght behind the govmbo. In a toughly , the State Departgton deplored the l gunboats and said gers would have to bility if the peace broke down. The red the government its efforts to find a nd urged the LTTE h for peace.
Union Presidency, st of the western in condemning the ) resume hostilities d the LTTE to give to Colombo's peace t negotiations for a t of the conflict.
ned the others in TTE for breaking eign Affairs MinisE to the pursuit of a ent.
ents has given the ose sceptics in the among some Tamil ed the genuineness y: “We told you so'. inting to the relucto engage in political thnic problem and that they were imh talks take place. PLOTE, two Tamil
groups represented in Parliament, but having little influence over the course of events in the northeast, have been saying that the main reason for the LTTE wanting their cadres to carry weapons in the east is to forcibly bring the east also under their military control as they have done in the Jaffna peninsula.
The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) has called upon the government and the LTTE to stop the fighting and resume peace talks stating that the escalating of the conflict would inevitably lead to incalculable human suffering.
The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has called upon the government to announce and implement constitutional reforms, including a substantive package of devolutionary measures, irrespective of the resumption of hostilities by the LTTE. The SLMC leader, Mr. M.H.M. Ashraff, who is a cabinet minister, said that the government would not react to LTTE provocations in a hasty manner, and hoped that the Tigers would not want to return to full scale war.
The EPRLF, another Tamil group, has also called on the government to publish without delay its new power sharing arrangement and proceed with its peace process with or without the LTTE.
Father S.J. Emmanuel, the Vicar General of the Catholic Church in Jaffna now in Colombo for a Catholic Convention, who is said to be in regu. lar and close contact with the LTTE leadership, sought to put forward the LTTE's side of the argument. In an interview with the BBC's Colombo correspondent, the Vicar General said that there was growing disappointment among the people that the matters that were agreed during the first and second round of talks had not been implemented.
When asked: “But even if the government was dragging its feet, isn't it an extremely excessive reaction to break off peace talks altogether and go back to war? Won't the people of Jaffna suffer more through the resumption of hostilities than they would through the delayed implementation of some of the concessions the government earlier announced? Fr. Emmanual said: “It is not a positive wilful option for war. It is a position to which we have been pushed. We are not wilfully selecting war. We are only saying that there is no meaning in proceeding with such talks which do not have the implementary side to it. If it is merely talking and talking, and there is no implementation, then there is no sense in it, that is what the Tigers meant'.
4 TAM TIMES
FOURTH ROUND OF PEACE
Govt. Lifts Ban on Fuel & Peace Process Back on
After almost five years of embargo, all types of fuel, including petrol and diesel, began moving towards and into the Jaffna peninsula as from Saturday 15 April putting into effect President Chandrika Kumaratunga's decision to lift the embargo. The remaining restrictions on fishing in the northern waters also have been removed. The decision of the government has been conveyed in a four page letter dated 12 April to the LTTE leader, V. Pirabhakaran. (See page 6).
Political observers believe that the hitherto faltering peace process initiated by President Kumaratunga could gain new momentum if the Tigers also reciprocated now that the government has conceded two of their main demands almost in full which the Tigers described as affecting the day to day problems of northern Tamils.
There were two other conditions that the LTTE wanted the government to agree to before they would enter into negotiations on the political issues. The first was that the army camp at Pooneryn should be totally removed although the government had previously unilaterally moved it
600 metres away from the Pooneryn
Sangupiddy route that connects Jaffna and the mainland. The other was that they would not agree to the functioning of Monitoring Committees headed by foreign personnel until the present cessation of hostilities was converted into a permanent ceasefire. The government has agreed that these matters could be discussed in the next round of talks and in any case could be reviewed in three months.
The lifting of the embargo on fuel
and restrictions on fishing was a direct
result of the fourth round of talks held between delegations of the government and the LTTE on 10/11 April. The government delegation which travelled to the northern Jaffna peninsula for the talks comprised Presidential Secretary Kusum siri Balapatabendi, Anglican Bishop Kenneth Fernando, Charles Abeysekera (Chairman of Official Languages Commission and President of the Movement for Inter-Racial Justice and Equality), university don Dr. Jayadeva Uyangoda, Brigadier Siri Peiris and
Navy Captain Raja delegation was com section leader Tam and Dominique.
After the first di which, according t not much progress members of the g tion returned to Bishop Kenneth Abeysekera and Ja remained overnig further talks.
It is understood til agreed to set up th discuss (a) the poli view to resolving t (b) rehabilitation, development of the upgrading the pre hostilities into a pel
There were fear round of talks wi when two soldiers outside the Palaly a tion of the truce be ment and the LTT was general suspici ing was carried out denied any respol talks went ahead a
When fighting government forces June 1990, the the posed a swingeing prohibiting the trar of more than 80 ite many which can be tial to the life of til tion. During the pa present governmer over all items exce which included fue sisted as a precon talks that the emba lifted.
The only items til prohibited list are A Explosives/Pyrotech trol Devices, Pel Binoculars, Teles and Cloth material uniforms.
Though the Tiger ly responded yet (1 dent Kumaratunga addressed to the LT indicate that there hope and expectati
15 APRIL 1995
aratne. The LTTE posed of its political hil Chelvam, Ravi
ay of talks during o reliable reports, was made, three overnment delega
Colombo, while ernando, Charles yadeva Uyangoda ht in Jaffna for
nat both sides have ree committees to tical issues with a he ethnic problem, reconstruction and
northeast, and (c) sent cessation of
s that the fourth ould be cancelled were shot dead rmy base in violatween the governE. Although there on that the shootby the Tigers, they nsibility, and the s scheduled.
and the LTTE in
n government imeconomic embargo sport to the north ms which include described as essenhe civilian populazt few months, the it lifted the ban pt 12 or so items l. The LTTE inlition for political go must be totally
hat remain on the rms/Ammunition, nics, Remote Conlight Batteries, opes, Compasses
s have not official7 April) to Presi's communication TE leader, reports is much renewed on that the peace
process is now back on track. The President has also suggested that the next round of talks be held between 5 and 10 May.
War of Words
Until the fourth round of talks and the government's latest decision, there was widespread concern that the peace process was drifting into an acrimonious war of words with charges and counter-charges ultimately leading to the LTTE setting a deadline even to pull out of the peace process.
The third round of talks between the government and the LTTE took place on 14 January and despite some ameliorative measures providing some measure of relief to the people of the north, there was not much movement on the substantive issues. Almost three months later, the fourth round of talks occurred on 10/11 April. This deląy in itself was demonstrative of the fact that the peace process was not proceeding at a pace as anticipated at the beginning, and encountered difficulties that were not anticipated.
One encouraging fact was that the declaration of Cessation of Hostilities which came into effect on 8 January has, by and large, held in spite of allegations of various violations. However, the Monitoring Committees with foreign participation were not allowed to function as stipulated in the declaration. Their functioning had become a matter of dispute between the parties. The LTTE leader in his letter dated 25 February said that he was astonished that the government 'was not showing any keenness to extend the present temporary cessation of hostilities into a permanent durable ceasefire.' The LTTE sought to link the non-functioning of the Monitoring Committees to the absence of a formal ceasefire. "This has in turn resulted in delays in getting the foreign heads of Monitoring Committees to begin assuming their functions', the LTTE leader said in his letter.
The government's position on the LTTE's suggestion of a permanent ceasefire as expressed in its statement on 6 March was that it could be considered once the "Committees of Investigation into Violation of the Terms of Cessation of Hostilities' (Peace Committees) began to function effectively. The LTTE unconditionally agreed to the setting up of these Committees on 3 January, but had introduced additional conditions like fishing rights and free movement in northern waters and permission for LTTE cadres to move freely while carrying weapons in the east. These committees were set up to monitor violations of the terms of the cessation
15 APRIL 1995
of hostilities which came into effect on 8 January, and the LTTE had obstructed their functioning. Because of the inability of the Monitoring Committees to function, there was no independent body to look into alleged violation of the cessation of hostilities agreement.
The LTTE, on the other hand, alleged that the government had failed to implement in practice what it had agreed during the first three rounds of talks. It also set out four conditions - total lifting of the embargo on the transport of all items to Jaffna; the removal of the Pooneryn army camp, the removal of restrictions on fishing in northern waters; and the conversion of the cessation of hostilities into a permanent ceasefire. In addition, the Tigers also wanted the government to allow its cadres to move freely, while being armed, in the eastern province.
The government for its part lifted the embargo on most of the items except those which would be used to enhance the LTTE's military capability. It also relaxed some restrictions on fishing in the north and moved the army camp at Pooneryn six hundred metres away from the causeway. By this unilateral move, the government was hoping that the LTTE could be persuaded to enter into talks on the political issues.
The LTTE asserted that government's refusal to accede in full to its demands which related to the day to day problems of the people of the north reflected its lack of sincerity. On the other hand the government spokesman alleged that the Tigers were putting forward preconditions to be fulfilled while not agreeing to set a date for political talks with a view to arriving at an overall settlement leading to peace.
The delay caused even in the commencement of talks on the political issues relating to the ethnic conflict would appear to have certainly upset the government's time table. The reason for the obvious urgency of the government to commence talks with the LTTE on the political and constitutional issues involved in the ethnic conflict arises from the fact that the government has set 15 July this year as the date by which the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional Reform has to submit its report. Besides dealing with all aspects of constitutional reform, including the abolition of the executive presidency and changes in the electoral system, the Select Committee is also vested
with the task
framework for tl ethnic conflict. ments to the pres quired to give effe reached on the have to be finalis
The governmer proposal to refor would attract mu Therefore, once constitutional ref ing provisions rel of the ethnic conf government’s ob approval by way Many well-meanir lieve that a legisla solution of the eth part of a total pa tional reform is m the approval of the dum than if such put to them as a itself. It is precis that the governme on beginning talk the political issues issues relating to the day to day pro
Violations of T
Meanwhile, on intelligence repor Tiger cadres had Colombo to assa politicians and att installations in tl lapsed, selective Operations have According to CID plan is to drive explosives to the refinery which wo catastrophe.
The recent cap fishing trawlers b Palk Straits als among the Sri L. The Tigers had three vessels whil boats wee put on vessel which was seas. Navy circles past, the Tigers m the navies of bol effort to smuggle north by using tl trawlers.
Allegations tha engaged in collect intimidation and e of young men an tinued. It also has Thiyagarajah, the Palugamam in the by the LTTE. The for Kaluwanchiku Thiyagarajahʼs hol cadres and shot T
TAM TIMES 5
of finalising the he resolution of the Hence, any amendent Constitution rect to any settlement thnic question also ed by 15 July. it believed that the m the constitution ch popular suppOrt. the totality of the rm package, includating to the solution lict, is finalised, the jective is to seek of a referendum. ng commentators betive formula for the nic conflict forming ackage for constituore likely to receive people at a referena formula were to be a separate issue by sely for this reason ent seems to be keen s with the LTTE on at the same time as what is perceived as blems of the people.
the basis of alleged its that nearly 70 been brought into issinate prominent ack important state he event talks colsearch and arrest been undertaken. ! sources, one such a bowser load of Sapugaskanda oil uld lead to a major
ture of four Indian by the LTTE in the o raised suspicion ankan navy circles. reportedly retained e the crew of all the h board the fourth released on the high
fear that as in the ight seek to deceive th countries in an
weapons into the he captured fishing
t the Tigers were ing money through nforced conscription d women also conbeen reported that TELO leader of East was shot dead LTTE district leader di had walked into use with four other hiyagarajah. Again
28-year-old Muthusa my . A nusha Moorthy, a TELO member, of Chenkalady in the eastern province was shot dead by three gunmen who entered his house.
While the LTTE denied any allegations of violations of the truce, in turn they accused the security forces of committing violations against LTTE cadre in the east.
The LTTE took everyone by surprise when it issued almost an ultimatum that it would pull out of the peace process unless its demands were met. In a letter dated 16 March addressed to President Kumaratunga, the LTTE leader Pirabhakaran stated if "a favourable response is not received from you before 28 March '95, we will be compelled to make a painful decision as to whether to continue with the peace process or not."
The three issues which the LTTE leader identified as needing urgent settlement were:
(a) The opening of the Pooneryn route with the removal of the army camp; (b) The lifting of the embargo on all essential items; and
(c) The withdrawal of restrictions on fishing in northern waters.
The government and the President were completely taken aback by the turn of events as the already faltering. peace process in which they had invested a lot of political capital was near collapse with the LTTE's threat to pull out. However, the government insisted that it would do everything possible to sustain the peace process, without treating 28 March as a deadline or an ultimatum from the LTTE. Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, did not doubt that the peace process would go on, and stated that the government's stand on the LTTE's demands was "not inflexible”, and “the government will not be panicked into breaking the peace talks'. "Despite setbacks and misunderstandings, we will not deflect from the path of finding a just solution but it will not be peace at any cost.
However the danger of collapse of the peace process was averted by the timely visit to Jaffna by the Anglican Bishop Kenneth Fernando, Mr. Charles Abeysekera (President of the Movement for Inter-Racial Justice and Equality and Chairman of the Official Languages Commission) and the university don Dr. Jayadeva Uyangoda who had gone there in connection with the release of 15 policemen who had
Continued on page 7
6 TAMIL TIMES
President Kumaratunga' to LTTE Leader Pirabha
The Government's delegation met with the LTTE for the fourth round of talks in Jaffna on the 10th and 11th of April, 1985. The discussions took place in a cordial atmosphee. They focussed on four major issues.
The decisions of the government on the matters discussed are set out in a letter addressed already by President Chandrika Bandaranalike Kumaratunga to Mr. V. Pirabhakaran, leader of the LTTE.
The following is the text of the letter dated 12 April:
We have considered the issues that were referred to in your letter of 6th April 1985; these also formed the subject matter of the talks that were held between our delegations on the 10th and 11th of April in Jaffna.
. I was glad to be informed that Mr. Thamil Selvan had, in the course of his opening remarks, stated that the date referred to in your letter was not to be construed as an ultimatum but as an indication of a time frame within which decisions already arrived at were to be implemented.
I will now set out the four issues referred to and the actions we propose to take and/or our reactions. We are of the view that these issues vary fundamentally in character. Considerable progress has been made with regard to some of these issues and we now propose to take further positive decisions designed to ameliorate the living conditions of the people in the north. However, it is evident that other issues have military repercussions; these issues will therefore have to be addressed in the context of progress to be made with regard to political discussions leading to a negotiated end to the war.
1. The Embargo:
Only the following items will now remain on the list of goods prohibited for transport to the north:
Arms/Ammunition Explosives/Pyrotechnics Remote Control Devices Binoculars
Compasses Cloth material resembling army uniforms
All other goods can be freely transported to the north.
The announcement of this decision will be made on the 13th April and
thereafter a gazette ly issued containing still on the embargo
We have looked ments that earlier embargo have no plemented; we note of items removed list has been hampe cles. We have alrea continue to take fir that all such obst: removed and that g ported to the nortl ment. As part of thi also set up at all ch around Vavuniya c to whom any compl and immediate redr
2. Restrictions Ol
The restrictions were relaxed consid earlier occasion, wi ing into considera tions made to our fishing can be carr with only the follow
i. From Devil's P nar fishing will up to 5 nautica shore. ii. Fishing will within an area along the coast a seawards from camps on the co: iii. Fishing will I all bays, harbo along the coast. . ing with regard exception in th discussed, as ag. local level.
In the seas from Devil's Point a lagoon, fishing w at present. The restrictions the minimum cc rent conditions. fishing in the Point to Thalai viewed in three in which perioc will make all é arrangements within Sri Lank ters.
In removing the for civilian use in petrol and in remo fishing to the minin those steps that
15 APRIL 1995
S Letter karan
will be immediatethe list of 8 items | list.
into your statedecisions on the , been fully imthat the free flow rom the embargo red by some obstady taken and will m action to ensure cles are speedily oods can be transwithout impedi2se efforts, we will neck points in and vilian committees aints can be made ess obtained.
n Fishing on fishing, which erably by me on an ll be removed, taktion your suggesdelegation, so that ied on at any time ling exceptions: oint to Thalaimanbe permitted only al miles from the
not be permitted 1 mile either side nd 2 nautical miles all security forces ast.
not be permitted in urs and estuaries Any problems aristo the effect of this e east should be "eed with you, at a
Thondamannar to nd in the Jaffna ill be continued as
that remain are nsonant with curThe restriction on seas from Devil's nannar will be remonth's time with, the government fforts to conclude o permit fishing a's territorial wa
embargo on goods luding diesel and ing restrictions on um we have taken are necessary to
alleviate the difficulties facing people in the north and to bring back to a state of normality civilian life. We are both agreed that this should be our joint first objective. I hope that with these measures and their implementation, we are well on our way to its achievement.
I shall now go on to the two remaining matters.
3. Pooneryn Camp
You have asked for the removal of the Pooneryn camp on the purported ground that the Sangupidy Road cannot be opened up for civilian use without this. We have withdrawn the camp perimeter by 600 metres and have given an undertaking to place no checks on the road and to allow unobstructed use of the road by civilians. We shall implement this.
However, it is not possible for us to take a decision on the removal of the camp at this time. The camp has military significance and it is also our understanding that under the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, the status quo should be maintained and that neither side should attempt to affect the other's military capability. Nevertheless, conscious that the peace and normality we are striving to achieve must ultimately mean the reduction of military presence, we will keep this question under constant review and revert to it in three months time or when political talks are under way, whichever is earlier.
4. The Movement of Armed LTTE Cadres in the East.
We believe that this is a matter that should be negotiated within the context of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement. We are ready to discuss this immediately with you, negotiate an annex to the COH Agreement to include this as well as any other
matters that are mutually deemed
necessary, and to implement fully the conditions of this agreement including the activation of the peace committees envisaged therein.
We believe that the action we have taken or propose to take on the four issues raised will be satisfactory to you and provide a firm basis for the continuation of peace talks until they reach a conclusion in the resolution of the ethnic conflict.
In this context we suggest that the next round of talks centre on:
i. the negotiation of an annex to the COH Agreement,
ii. the finalization of residual mat
Continued on page 7
15 APRIL 1995
President's Balancin During Indian Vis
Rita Sebastian, Colombo
The visit of President Chandrika Kumaratunga to India, her first official visit since assuming office as Executive President, is considered a personal triumph for her.
President Kumaratunga is said to have charmed many of the leading Indian politicians whom she met, as well as the hard bitten press corps. Her meetings with the India International centre coterie of self-styled Indian opinion makers is also said to have gone extremely well.
President Kumaratunga is said to have come across as a person genuinely committed to peace.
It must be recalled that most of the visits undertaken by the leaders of the previous regime to India were marred by suspicion, and in some instances, protocol lapses.
The crux of President Kumaratunga's visit was the tricky question of how to handle the issue of Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran which looms threateningly over Indo-Lanka relations. It is a strange thought but true, that Prabhakaran who is hardly seen in public, should so obsess all discussion on current Indo-Lanka relations.
Former President Ranasinghe Premadasa made enemies in Delhi for seeking to befriend Prabhakaran at the cost of Indo-Lanka relations. Premadasa's thesis was quite simply that India was at the root of Tamil militancy in Sri Lanka. Pluck out this root and all will be well, seemed to be his reasoning. What is more, his peace offensive was hinged on the risky proposition that the LTTE would be grateful to him for having saved them from the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) and its machinations. Premadasa in fact delighted in snubbing India during his 13-month peace parley with the LTTE.
Continued from page 6
ters such as the Joint Authority on Rehabilitation and Reconstruction so that work may be expedited and, iii. the shape of future negotiations. We propose that these talks resume on any days between the 6th and 10th of May 1995,
President Chan ga however has ing her analogou tions with the greater sensitiv plained her com tical and econor with the LTTE. the only credibl Gaulle once said those who shoot,
There is reason cardinal fault of Indo-Lanka Acco exclusion of the was not a signa which presented for not abiding Kumaratunga wi history and there political accor Prabhakaran. Th Kumaratunga's a rebutted. Howev. complication, nan dhi assassination been the handiw And Prabhakar: “wanted’ man.
There are powe Tamil Nadu am determined to and these lobbie tion in Gandhi's has emerged as oned with in Indi
President Kur therefore perform obtain Indian su process. Equally she had to assure that she would men from the wo
It is a tribute t that she has ob both these issue ported the peace Prabhakaran ext accepted the fac would only arise is available to S ities.
Sri Lanka mu can be persuade its present non-il Others argue th critical issue at al is really whethe with the LTTE v settlement, or w lapse in disarray, India's tacit acqu tive support will
TAMIL TIMES 7
ndrika Kumaratunhandled India, durIs phase of negotiaLTTE with much ity. She has expulsions, both polinic, in negotiating They are after all e force and as De
"We must talk to at our soldiers'.
to believe that the f the controversial rd of 1987 was the LTTE. The LTTE tory to the Accord it with an excuse by it. President ll not like to repeat fore she has sought n modation with e logic of President Argument cannot be er there is a huge mely the Rajiv Ganh alleged to have fork of the LTTE. an has become a
rful lobbies both in d Delhi, who are 'get Prabhakaran s have an inspirawidow, Sonia, who a force to be reckan politics. maratunga had to a balancing act to pport for the peace on the other hand : Indian authorities not shield wanted rkings of justice. ) her political skills tained comfort on ls. India has supprocess and on the radition India has t that extradition when Prabhakaran ri Lankan author
st hope that India l to continue with Interventionist role. at this is not the l. The critical issue r the peace talks vill lead to a final hether it will colIn either scenario iescence, if not acpe required.
Continued from page 5
been in LTTE custody since June 1990. The policemen had engaged in a fast demanding that the government should take steps to obtain their release. The fasting policemen were released and transported to Colombo following talks between the LTTE and three intermediaries who went from Colombo.
Back on Track
In addition to dealing with the release of the police prisoners, it would seem that the three intermediaries, with the consent of President Kumaratunga, had engaged in talks with the LTTE leadership which had "helped to clear some of the misunderstandings' between the government and the LTTE. It would appear that LTTE had agreed that 28 March was not to be treated as a deadline, but as a time frame within which they expected a response from the government. On his return to Colombo, Bishop Kenneth Fernando said, "My assessment is that the LTTE and the people of Jaffna are eager for peace. Our delegation endeavoured to get the peace process back on track and we believe that our efforts have achieve some success'.
It was during this time the editor of Ravaya, a Sinhala language weekly, also visited Jaffna and had extensive talks with LTTE leaders including their spokesman Anton Balasingham. On his return, he indicated that the LTTE would continue to take part in the peace process and that they might not insist on the total removal of the army camp at Pooneryn.
In a letter dated 24 March, the President informed the LTTE leader that the government was prepared to lift the embargo on fuel and restrictions on fishing. The government suggested to the LTTE that its delegation would be willing to visit Jaffna for the fourth round of talks during the first week of April. The government also would appear to have suggested that the talks could take place on a multitrack basis, with three groups or committees comprising negotiators from both parties holding parallel discussions on (a) reconstruction, rehabilitation and development, (b) political issues (c) strengthening the cessation of hostilities, and requested the LTTE to indicate as to how the political talks could be structured.
Mr. Pirabhakaran, the LTTE leader responded by his letter dated 28 March extending the "deadline' of 28 March,
Continued on page 26
8 TAMIL TIMES
Peace Process: Parties Agree on Agenda & Tim
Rita Sebastian from Colombo interviewed well known Const Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) Member of Parlia Tiruchelvam, who answered questions ranging from the
Q: Do you think it is the end of the road for the peace process?
A: No I don't. You have got to
understand that the peace process is a complex exercise for two important
Firstly, we have to overcome the
legacy of distrust, and the legacy of destruction which has overshadowed the relations between the northeast and the rest of the country.
The second is the logistical constraint which makes the pursuit of peace in Sri Lanka very different from that in the Middle East or Northern Ireland.
There is a geographical isolation, and the fact that direct contacts between the two sides have been limited and one has had to resort to communication through letters.
Now despite these two broad constraints, I think the peace process is alive.
The cessation of hostilities agreement worked out in the early part of January has held for more than two months and that is a significant achievement of the peace process.
Q: The general feeling in the country is that the talks are deadlocked. How do you think one can get out of the situation?
A: I think what needs to be done is for the two sides to come to an understanding with regard to the actual agenda for discussion and the sequence within which that agenda will be pursued, and also whether it will be possible to work out some specific timeframe for addressing the various issues. The process as you know has taken place amidst many difficulties and no one can really expect a dramatic breakthrough within such a short time. But I believe that the achievements so far have been significant and we have to approach the process with a measure of optimism.
Q: Do you think it is time the government made its devolution package to resolve the conflict public?
A: I don't think it necessary at this
stage because devo issues which form constitutional refor chapter on devolut the first draft on cor
This position wal to most political pa the devolution issu be addressed in the
It will be appr issues define thems of the peace talks a there is significant issues to try and ex in the constitution This I think is loc practical political p
Q: What in you nininnun demands
A: If you look att before the Select C. ment the issues re the political an framework for the between the northe the country.
The second issue of equality in term institutional arrang sure that when t between the centre that these disputes in a manner which the spirit and subst tutional framework power between the rest of the country.
The second issue of equality in term equality of opportu
The third issue tional arrangeme. that when there ar the centre and the disputes will be add which is consistent substance of th framework.
And fourthly so whatever politic agreed on, it will r. abrogated or ame detrimental to the lims.
So there are foul I think need to b overall political sol
15 APRIL 1995
itutional lawyer and ment, Dr. Neelam peace process to
lution is one of the
part of the new m exercise and the ion was left out of nstitutional reform.
s clearly explained rties, that they felt les should initially
opriate to let the elves in the course und subsequently if progress on these press that progress al reform exercise. king at it from a erspective. r opinion are the
of the annis?
he proposals placed ommittee of parlialate essentially to d constitutional
sharing of power :ast and the rest of
relates to problems s of language, and gements which enhere are disputes and the province will be addressed is consistent with tance of the constifor the sharing of
northeast and the
relates to problems s of language, and nities.
relates to institunts which ensure e disputes between province that these ressed in a manner with the spirit and e constitutional
me assurance that all framework is tot be subsequently nded in a manner ! Tamils and Mus
broad areas which e addressed in an ution.
Q: in your opinion did the IndoLanka Accord of 1987 devolve Substantial power on the provincial councils.
A: There are many problems with the devolutionary framework in the Indo-Lanka Accord.
The first is the constitutional framework.
The second is in regard to the distribution of power between the centre and the provinces.
There is a question of 'national policy' on all the devolved subjects which was vested in the centre.
So under the guise of national policy you in effect took away with the right hand what you gave with the left hand.
In a number of instances an erosion took place in the devolutionary arrangement.
And finally there is extreme dependence of the province on the centre with regard to financing.
So the changes which we are thinking in terms of devolution are not marginal changes or modest changes, they envisage the fundamental reconstruction of the distribution of powers to the provinces.
And we further envisage a more effective mechanism for ensuring that the centre does not intrude or encroach upon the powers of the provinces.
Q: The sticking point in the whole devolution exercise seens to be the northeast merger. What is the TULF position on the merger?
A: When TULF President Mr. M. Sivasithamparam went before the Select Committee he put forward the party position which is the linking of the Tamil majority areas of the northern and eastern provinces.
In making these proposals however he recognised that there maybe firstly the need to make special arrangements for the Muslims, and also consider some adjustment of the boundaries in the northeast.
Q: Why did the TULF decide to support the Peoples Alliance governfreft?
A: There are three key elements in the IPA approach which we found acceptable. Firstly we believed that there was a need to have direct political contact between the government and the LTTE. Secondly we felt that there has to be a peaceful resolution of the conflict and there was no alternative to this, and thirdly the PA had agreed to extensive devolution as a basis for a political solution.
15 APRIL 1995
Peace Process Res From the Brink of C
Last week saw the peace initiative of President Chandr being rescued from the brink. As events unfolded towards most crucial and vital aspect of the PA-LTTE effort to
conflict became apparent. Both sides evidently were prej and make concessions to some degree to the specific press to reckon with. This trend has to be strengthened and su genuinely desire an end to the suffering of the people in
The following is the story by TARAK of the near break process, which was saved by the weekend.
TARAK was in Jaffna and a witness to the events.
The peace process was almost on the verge of collapsing on March 28. Few in Colombo's decision making political circles were aware of the gravity of the situation which had been fundamentally brought about by the letter sent by the government to the LTTE's leadership on March 9. The letter among other things, listed the issues which the Tigers insist have to be sorted out before substantial negotiations on a political solution can begin and stated that those issues can be resolved only within the “framework of an established and durable peace'.
Now, this position simply meant that the further lifting of the embargo, further lifting the ban on fishing on the northeast coast, a ceasefire, removing the Pooneryn army camp etc., could be discussed only after a political solution is negotiated and implemented. The government also re
quired the Tigers to give a date in
early April to begin political discussions.
The LTTE was already complaining that the government was submitting to the interests of the army and hence dragging its feet on resolving many issues which it had agreed upon earlier. The government letter corroborated their suspicion when it referred to issues raised by the LTTE as matters involving national security. Even a brief perusal of this epistle would reveal that the last thing on the mind of the person who drafted it was diplomacy and consistency.
The writer having stipulated that the issues involved could be resolved only within the framework of an established and durable peace, goes on to say in the next paragraph that discussions on the same issues could take place parallel to negotiations on a political package. The text of the March 9 letter barely conceals the hands of an amateur who has been foisted into an intricate and unfamiliar situation.
The LTTE, however, was in no mood
to take the letter was an unequiv Chandrika that sł to resolve anymor by them in the in and that they have al discussions. Thi tantamount to pu. ger high command units to go on all taken to deliver a government. I ur date for the deadlin for March 20.
Yet when Dr. Charles Abayase Kenneth Fernand things appeared I LTTE was harden peace process. The tions were not ve stood that at a di with Thamil Selva attempt was made effect of the letter'
The LTTE, howe to take the Uya team to the hou where the policem order to release t Bishop. Later in them preparing to keep the peace pro perhaps the two been released to thi to the Bishop's mis
Meanwhile, Vict Ravaya), who was and treated with LTTE in Jaffna, h sions with Thamil singham on proble. peace talks.
However the Ti the ultimatum and parations to face karan and most ( commanders had a the peninsula. Tha Jaffna on March 1 location in the Wa
The headline of
TAMIL TIMES 9
ika Kumaratunga the weekend, the resolve the ethnic pared to recognise ures each side has pported by all who the north-east.
down of the peace
lightly. To them it ocal message from he was not prepared 2 of the issues raised terests of the army | to submit to politics in their view was re coercion. The Tiordered its military ert. A decision was n ultimatum to the lderstand that the he was initially fixed
Jaydeva Uyangoda, »kara and Bishop lo went to Jaffna, normal except that ing its stand on the e war like preparary visible. I underiscussion they held an an unsuccessful 2 to tone down the S contents.
ver, was more keen (n-Charlie-Kenneth se in Jaffna town en were on fast in wo of them to the the evening I saw leave with little to ess on track except policemen who had e ICRC In deference sion to Jaffna.
or Ivan, (editor of warmly welcomed due respect by the Lad lengthy discusSelvan and Balams connected to the
ger leadership sent began making prethe army. Prabhaf his key military lready moved out of mil Selvan also left 9 to an undisclosed mni.
the LTTE's organ
which appeared four days later was “Will Eelam War Three Begin?” This was a clear indication of the LTTE's thinking. The lead story said: “Whether the fighting will start is the question that has arisen in everyone's mind. The LTTE-government peace talks have failed as a result of the position taken up by Chandrika refusing to resolve the day to day problems of the Tamil people. As a result of which a situation has been brought about in which the war can begin any time. . . . The crucial historical responsibility of deciding whether it is going to be war or peace is today in the hands of Chandrika. Is she going to start the war, or is she going to continue with the peace talks?
"That she should do the needful to continue the peace talks is the earnest desire of the Tamil people. Chandrika assumed power promising to remove all the burdens and hardships which sprevious governments had imposed on the Tamil people. But she did not give priority to the interests of the Tamils as she promised to do - she attempted to make decisions giving priority to the interests of the military. . . .
"However when taking decisions she must take into account the fact that the Sinhala people who voted her into power did not give her a mandate to give priority to military interests. Thus far no Sinhala leader could think truly of finding a peaceful solution to the ethnic problem nor did they act in that belief. This tradition seems to be taking hold of her as well. This is why she is adopting a hard line in the manner aimed at putting a stop to the peace process. Nevertheless the entreaty of the Tamil people is that she should give up this idea of making blood flow and give peace talks a chance. We call upon Madam (this seems to be only approximate to the Tamil "Ammaiyaar") Chandrika not to begin Eelam War Three by giving priority to the views of the chauvinists and militarists'.
The paper said that in a few days it was going to be known whether it was going to be war or peace. The editorial of the Viduthalai Pulihal was quite harsh. It argued that the view of some southern intellectuals that she is reacting to pressure from the army was not acceptable. If she could remove some commanders (?) and order investigations against them then it is a fallacy, according to the editorial, to say that she has to take into account the pressure from the military brass.
The big cartoon above the headline shows her telling a person who informs her they want a reply before the 28
Continued on page 10
10 . TAM TIMES
Continued from page 9
that preparations are under way for sending the answer pointing to the army making arrangements for war.
By Thursday it was obvious to many in Jaffna that another round of bitter fighting was imminent. The LTTE had decided to close the north official and unofficial delegations from the south whatever their purpose. The Anglican Bishop - Dr. Uyan - Charlie team which had met with the President on its return and which was ready to leave for Jaffna with Mr. Balapatabendi was stopped. The Tigers said "we have made our position clear. It's of no use coming to argue the government’s case”.
The foreign heads of the monitoring committees who were also scheduled to leave for Jaffna that week were politely asked to postpone their journey. On Friday Maran, a young but shrewd Tiger attached to the LTTE's political headquarters, appeared in a shirt normally worn by cadres in military service. He was in high spirits. "I do not know whether I will be around when you come back next he said. Thamil Selvan's polite assistant Sutha was equally earnest "Our leader has carefully examined everything and set this deadline. We all stand by him and are all prepared to lay down our lives. The government is treating the matter lightly. Chandrika has gone off to
India while the fut question hangs in March 28 approach chances for peace w remote’ he said wh wards Kilaly. My
Weeraratne who wa was getting a bit w ledge of Tamil is qu many friends in nor
Hence he had gi what was going on. tion on March 24 wa government had to announcement on them in their last they would shut the process. Thamil Sel
We have twentyfi ers in our organisa our rights on our ov the situation was d east and things wel there. It seems that that Chandrika is in date in April for ta package because sh the aid consortiums sum of money prom struction and dev northeast could be forging an establis peace. If they were drikas request fo getting her to resolv raised by them it w be tantamount to yi
National and international CC Ripe for End to Confl
by M. Wasantha Raja, Chairman, Rupav
The successive elections in Sri-Lanka have clearly demonstrated that progressive, politically conscious social forces are being unleashed in a powerful way. Indeed, the present government has been pushed into power by these forces and now an enormous potential for radical change in the country has emerged.
I strongly believe that the climate is such that new visions of forward thinking people in society can be realised if handled with patience and tact.
The results in the parliamentary elections held in August have signalled a new chapter in Sri-Lankan politics. Whatever the hiccups and ups and downs that may occur, some irreversible trends have clearly emerged.
For one, the perception of the war among Sri-Lankan people (particularly Sinhala people) has radically shifted.
Also, people’s det fend democracy and been powerfully der
In spite of the m by the darkest forc. whip up racism and the most distasteful whelming majority gave a clear manda ka leadership to peace effort.
This significant ( perception, I belie international trend slowly gathering m developments in So Middle East, partic hopeful signals tha previous decade can course.
On the one hand, political establishm tries realised that
ure of the ethnic
the balance as es. After that the ould be extremely ile driving us to
friend Nandana s in the back seat orried. his knowuite good and has th.
pt a clear idea of The LTTE's posiis quite tough. The make an official issues raised by letter, otherwise doors on the peace van said:
ive thousand fighttion today to win wn'. He added that eteriorating in the re getting difficult the LTTE believes sisting om an early alks on a political he has to convince soon that the large ised for the reconrelopment of the granted in view of shed and durable to agree to Chana date without re any of the issues rould in their view ielding to coercion.
15 APRIL 1995
The UNP had imposed the ban on fishing, enforced an economic embargo on the north and cut off all access routes to the peninsula in order to coerce the LTTE to submit militarily and if necessary, politically. Therefore in the LTTE's view agreeing to a date on political talks while all these are still in force would help her achieve with little effort what the UNP could not achieve for many years - in other words she gets donor country backing and money while keeping all the means of military coercion gained and consolidated by the armed forces under the UNP regime.
"I am sure that the government understands all this clearly. It might be one reason that March 28 crisis was smoothly overcome, at least temporarily. The LTTE, I think, also understands that it should not push her too far on some issues despite their public pronouncements'.
The most crucial and vital aspect of the PA-LTTE effort to resolve the ethnic conflict is that both sides evidently are prepared to recognise and to make concessions to some degree to the specific pressures which each side has to reckon with. This trend has to be strengthened and supported by all who genuinely desire an end to the suffering of the people in the north-east.
(Courtesy of Sunday Island, 2.4.95).
(ermination to depress freedom has monstrated.
ost sinister efforts es in Sri-Lanka to war sentiments in manner, the over7 in the country te to the Chandriproceed with the
:hange in people's ve, is part of an
being carved and nomentum. Recent uth Africa and the ularly, have given t civil wars of the effectively change
sections within the ents of these coun, endless fighting
would merely culminate in economic and political ruin. Liberation organisations, on the other hand, began to acknowledge that political confrontation could be much more fruitful than being bogged down in military and terrorist confrontations.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, developments like these in other parts of the world couldn't generate the same impact. International trends could never gather momentum as they can in this day and age, with the advance of information technology. This is because it's possible, like never before, to learn and to learn quickly from the experiences of others.
So, in Sri-Lanka at the present time, the powerful social forces that have been unleashed are guided just as much by world developments as by national factors.
It is important, I think, to view the current situation in Sri-Lanka in terms of a "transition' period. The People's Alliance government, led by a charismatic lady with modern views and attitudes, was pushed into power by progressive social forces in the country in democratically held elections. But, although new faces walked
15 APRIL 1995
into the parliament, the same establishment, the same armed forces (saddled with old ideas, old attitudes and old working methods) remained intact.
The result has been that the present government has been caught betwen the conservative and progressive ellements within the country. This explains why it often finds itself lagging behind the mass movement in SriLanka but at the same time regularly responding to their pressure. This volatility is to be expected.
So how are we to interpret this situation? If we take a snapshot of political opinion in the country we find views of the present government forming into two distinct camps - both of which I think are wrong. There are those loyalists who try to justify everything the government does. On the other side, you have the die-hard radicals who rush to conclude that nothing at all has changed and that the present state is merely a continuation of the old regime. Both interpretations are misleading.
It has to be understood that the Sri-Lankan government is a contradictory entity. Whilst still containing regressive elements of the past it also contains the progressive seeds of the future. If these progressive elements are to be cultivated properly then, as forward-thinking people, we must apply skill and patience in our dealings with the government. Whilst ruthless and constructive criticism is healthy and necessary, it's crucial to frame this criticism in a constructive way. Merely stirring up hostility among the population could have the negative effect of toppling a partially responsive government and returning us to the mercy of the forces that governed the terror period.
At the moment, the present government is relatively stable despite being on the receiving end of much criticism. Even Sri-Lanka's leader of the opposition Mr. Ranil Wicremasinge's attempts to revitalise his United National Party seem to have run out of steam. There is already talk about serious divisions within the UNP leadership. In my view, the difficulty they face is that of erasing the image of corruption, thuggery and terrorism that has tainted their history. This is proving troublesome.
I want now to consider the position of the present government in relation to the peace process. The People's Alliance stood for power on an antiwar platform and, given the huge support they received in both the parliamentary and presidential elections, we have every right to be hope
ful of the peace pro track.
It's also encour: LTTE now has a po playing an active footsteps of the PL Fein. And the fact t of hostilities' has he is a clear indicati control over their whole. This is a very it is easier to negotia ly mature, unified ( commands firm inte
But what grou assume that the LTTE towards a po are genuine? This biggest reservation favour of a settlem war enthusiasts. N although the LTT total separation, i aware of the substa political compromis would enable Tami economically on a scale. Billions of do pour in assoon as And, once a vibran Tamil, Muslim and munities living in : (who have themsel by successive gove ombo) would be attr rather than the Sout
Moreover, I susp now is convinced prosperity of Tamil pends (geographica culturally and po Sinhala "South' and in South India.
As long as Colo show respect for t right to self-determ it refrains from im on Tamils by force clined to think that willing to agree on tlement, paving the Northern economy.
The LTTE seem that a dragging futile and that they tively consolidate th tical force among t they could lead the mic prosperity. Fo ence, none of the ments have done m areas in the North.
If we can accept t genuine interest in ing peace, what ab government? How As I've mentioned, ure for a settleme changed perception
TAM TIMES 11
cess remaining on
aging to see the litical department ole, following the O, ANC and Sinn hat theircessation d over two months n of the LTTE's movement as a positive sign. For, ate with a politicalIrganisation which rnal discipline.
nds have we to intentions of the litical compromise
seems to be the amongst those in ent as well as the My guess is that E would prefer a t is increasingly untial benefits of a e. A lasting peace l areas to develop un unprecedented llars are likely to the war is ended. t economy is built even Sinhala comsurrounding areas ves felt neglected ernments in Colacted to the North th.
lect the LTTE by
that the future areas mainy deilly, economically, litically) on the not on Tamil Nadu
mbo is willing to he Tamil nation's ination, as long as posing a solution , I'm strongly inthe LTTE would be a compromise setway for a lucrative
to have realised war is ultimately v could more effecemselves as a polihe Tamil people if em towards econor, since independsuccessive governnuch for the Tamil
hat the LTTE has a establishing a lastout the Sri-Lankan genuine are they? the strongest pressnt stems from the among the Sinha
la population who continue to exert considerable pressure. Beyond this, relaunching the war now would be a financial nightmare' for the government. The annual expenditure on the war amounts to more than is spent on Health and Education together. And recent state propaganda has ensured that every one in the country knows about it.
Moreover, people are well aware of the lucrative economic circumstances that peace would bring. Pledges from the donor countries together with the prospect of turning Sri-Lanka into an "investor's paradise' must be extremely tempting to the economic planners in the government.
The pouring of dollars into a peaceful North for post-war reconstruction by hundreds of thousands of Tamil expatriates living in the West, Australia and the Middle East would contribute to the creation of a dynamic
economy in Sri-Lanka as a whole.
Not to mention the benefits from the favourable publicity Sri-Lanka is bound to attract internationally should peace negotiations prove successful, not just the considerable fruits of tourism and investment.
I'm convinced that the national and international conditions for ending the war are very ripe indeed.
So then, if both sides have such good reasons to end the war, what's the problem?
I think it's quite simply a case of mutual distrust. And it must be admitted that both sides have very good reasons for mistrusting each other.
Take, for instance, the latest obstruction to the peace process. The LTTE has put forward a set of demands which are aimed at testing the sincerity of the government: to remove the Pooneryn camp completely; to lift the economic embargo in full; and to lift the ban on fishing communities in the North and East. All these demands are very popular among the Tamil masses. The LTTE suspects that the government's strategy is to isolate them from the Tamil masses and effectively corner them. That is why, the LTTE argue, the government (acting on advice from the armed forces) is reluctant to break the existing "siege' situation by removing the Pooneryn camp.
The government, for their part, argue that the LTTE demands, if met, would compromise national security, again revealing mistrust of the LTTE's intentions.
This sort of distrust between the two sides who have been at war for over a decade isn't at all surprising. It'll be
Continued on page 14
12 TAM TIMES
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15 APRIL 1995
“LTTE is Looking F Federal Solution to C - Lawrence Th
(Interview given at Copenhagen by the LTTE's international spokesman, Mr. Lawrence Thilakhar to Sisira Wijesinghe, correspondent of Sunday Island (26.3.95).
Q: What is the present state of negotiations between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government as of today?
A: Actually we are looking for the government to fix the date for the fourth round of talks to start discussing various outstanding day-to-day issues like lifting of the total embargo, and the opening of passages for people to come from the north to the south, and also about the fishing sanctions that should be lifted. The government has agreed on all the issues, but there is a question of implementation about what has already been agreed upon. So the LTTE is waiting for the return of the Colombo delegation in regard to these matters in the fourth round of talks.
Q: When are you expecting the government to initiate in the fourth round of talks?
A: We do not know, because the government has to fix the dates, and they have to come, because we are waiting.
Q: It looks like the talks are now bogged down. What are the reasons for this?
A: My impression is that there is a lot of pressure on Chandrika Kumaratunga. Earlier she was very enthusiastic about resolving the problem, but later on what we find is that there is lot of pressure on the President from the Colombo media, and military. So our feeling is that Chandrika too is succumbing to the pressures.
Q: Houw do you propose to make a breakthrough unless you all are ready to respond to the government's gestures?
A: That is why we are telling her to take some bold initiatives to carry forward the talks.
Q: But the government's position seems very clear. The government claims that it has already granted whatever has been requested by your side to go on with talks except for the removal of the Pooneryn camp?
A: You see, there are things very crucial, matters like fuel, fertilizers that affect the lives of the people.
Q: But many of these items have been
permitted accordi ment?
A: Without fuel ity, and no develop done. For exampl sent two generato these generators even for irrigation, to start water-pun
Q: But the all LTTE hierarchy d Lankan governme things purely by truth in that?
A: It is natura vious governmen outside and spent poses like settlin north-east, startir ment projects in th when there is a de the north, it shoul supervised by both government. And asking that the re velopment commit the development So the money will
Q: But the gover to set up such deve including the LT democratic repr. Tamil community.
A: But that is formation on the ment of Sri Lanka sed with the LTTE equal representati the government ir So that should be
Q: In other wor that before such co, there has to be agr both sides.
A: What we are things can be disc ernment fixes a round of talks. Th affect the people quickly.
Q: But the Sri has clearly stated any such committe toо сап потinate т pate actively in su jects. What is your
A: What the LT has to be a disc committees are f equal representati has not so far disc
TAMIL TIMES 13
Of 2 )nflict
ng to the govern
there is no electricment project can be e, the government cs, but without fuel can't function. So there has to be fuel pS.
agation is that the oes not want the Sri nt to handle those itself. Is there any
... Because the pre, got money from for their own purg Sinhalese in the ng various develope south. That is why velopment project in d be monitored and the LTTE and the that is why we are construction or detee be formed before projects are started. be used properly.
nment has proposed 'lopment committees "TE and all other 2sentatives of the
only a unilateral part of the governIt should be discus, and there has to be on of the LTTE and such a committee. discussed.
ds, you mean to say mmittees are formed 2ement only between
saying is that those ussed after the govlate for the fourth en those things that
can be discussed
Lankan government that in the event of es being formed, you tembers and partici2h development pro
TE says is that there ussion before such ormed with having on. The government ussed or done so.
Q: But the government claims that you all have not responded positively to such gestures proposed by the governтетt.
A: This is purely the LTTE's demand that this type of committee be formed, and that we have to form these committees as early as possible to start the reconstruction very quickly.
Q: Does it mean that such committees should be represented only by the LTTE? On the part of Tamil people do you want other Tamil segments to be also included?
A: No, we are asking specifically for the LTTE. Because to resolve the problem, both the government and LTTE have to speak to each other. So we specifically ask such reconstruction committees should include LTTE.
Q: It suggests that you directly refuse any other Tamil groups taking part in such committees.
A: Yes, in that particular development and reconstruction committee we do not want any other groups to be represented.
Q: Why is it so? A: Because the discussions are now between the LTTE and the government. So this committee is an outcome of the discussions we had with the government. The committee for the reconstruction and development in the north and east should therefore consist only of the LTTE and the government. This is one of our demands as well.
Q: But in such a situation, the government will be blamed for not including other Tamil representatives in such a process, especially the groups which have already entered into the таinstreат of dетocracy. Do yои think that such a demand is democratic?
A: This is something else. The problem is to address the day-to-day urgent problems of the people, and find a solution to the ethnic problem. The government has started talks with us on the assumption that day-to-day problems of Tamils will be solved, and it was agreed by the Colombo government.
Q: Mr. Thilakhar, I am asking you again, is it all right on your part to ecclude all other Tamil parties and groups and claim that you (LTTE) are the sole representative for Tamil people when parties such as the TULF have bagged many votes in the Eastern Province at elections?
A: What I am saying is that it is the government which proposed the reconstruction to the LTTE, and they put
Continued on page 14
14 TAM TIMES
Continued from page 13
the plan to the LTTE. So the LTTE agreed to restart the reconstruction, and there was a suggestion by the LTTE that it should comprise only both parties. When they returned to Colombo, they changed the position.
Q: Have you intimated this demand to the government in writing?
A: Yes, the LTTE leader Prabhakaran in a letter suggested about forming of these committees before the fourth round of talks.
Q: In such a situation how do you justify the ecclusion of all other democratic Tamil groups from such a process?
A: The talks and the agreement are now between the LTTE and the government. You see the main armed conflict is between the government and the LTTE. So the resolution of the armed conflict and also the resolution of the ethnic problem have to be carried forward only by both parties.
Q: Then comes an allegation from the south that the government is purposely marginalising other democratic groups who have already selected peaceful means to resolve their problems. Houw do you counter such allegations ?
A: You see. They are already excluded because they are not included in the armed struggle. This democratic process can be discussed later on. The first and foremost is to alleviate the day to day problems of the people and the resolution of the war. So we have to tackle this first. First we should initiate the rehabilitation process only between two parties, because that was caused by the oppressive war unleashed by the government, and there was resistance to that. That was a crucial issue affecting the Tamil people.
Q: If other parties too demand the participation in such a process as they too represent sections of Tamil people, what would be your alternative in such a situation, and what would you think as the alternative for the government?
A: The government has to salvage the talks, and find a genuine and amicable solution while continuing to talk to the LTTE. While talking to the LTTE as agreed, the government has to start rehabilitation and other development projects. Then only the government will attend to the day to day problems of the people, and then only it will be able to take other substantial issues. These are effects of the war unleashed by the government. In resolving such issues the government will have to show good will.
Q: In the event extensive devolution
is granted to you, uv the mainstream of d
A: The foremost t tion of the ethnic c the LTTE can go process.
Q: In that case uv, you propose to the S ment?
A: Actually, the l told that it will cons federal solution if proposal is on those federal solution, we
Q: In the event of a solution what d alternative breakthr
A: Actually we wi the government to that will fulfil the Tamil people. The g first put forward it, decide upon it whetl or not.
Q: If democratic e the north, uvhat amo you get among the g
A: This is a hypc because still there is hostilities. So first hostilities has to be be carried to make it political discussions resolve the problem. talk about democrat are fully agreeable system of governme.
We are sure that overwhelmingly as over 85 per cent peo LTTE. Our continua gle itself is an indicat we gain from our Ta
Q: Do not you t uvoulad run the risk oj people feel that the r uould arrive at is r ought to be?
A: Before that th things to be done fon the problem. The TI definitely support th they are the only peo the emancipation of Tamil are not fools various other Tamil collaborating with th
Q: In addition to b driving force, or the behind the peace agro people, what does yo ramme consist of?
A: Definitely it wil set up where so m people can come ar elections. People wil decide who will be tives or their saviour
15 APRIL 1995
l the LTTE enter mocratic politics? ing is the resolunflict. Then only the democratic
at is the solution ri Lanka govern
TTE has already ler positively to a he government's ines. If there is a vill consider it.
any failure of such you see as the ough to this crisis?
l continuously ask submit a solution aspirations of the overnment has to and we will then er it is acceptable
ections are held in unt of support will eneral masses?
thetical question, only a cessation of the cessation of strengthened and , a ceasefire. Then should start to Then only we can ic resolutions. We to a democratic ht. , our people will some figures say ple - support the tion of the strugion of the support mil people.
ink that LTTE being defeated if solution that yои ot as good as it
re are so many the resolution of amil people will e LTTE because le who fought for Tamil people. So to be fooled by |roups which are
government. ing the so-called liberating force 2ment, for Tamil :r political prog
be a democratic iny parties and participate in
have power to heir representa
Q: So what is the political package you expect to give to the people?
A: It will be a democratic structure, but we can't say because we have been fighting for an independent state. And now we have got into discussions with the government, and at this time we have to see what the government puts forward as the alternative proposal. Whatever the outcome of the talks, we will at the end get into the democratic
O: So at this moment the LTTE does not have any political manifesto?
A: No! We have had our own independent state in the past. We have our own manifesto, and we have our own programme how it has to be ruled. We have a clear ideal that it will be a democratic country with multi-party system and with the freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and other civil liberties, and everything will beathere. And it will be an economy on free market lines. So these are the political and social manifestos of an independent state. But now we are in a discussion. We have to focus on the current talks with the government.
Q: Do you think other middle-class and upper-class Tamils living in other parts of the country would support the LTTE in the forthcoming years?
A: We fully hope that the north-east population, and also Colombo people coming back to our areas, will fully support the LTTE.
Q: Do you have a positive outlook about the peace negotiations now underuvay?
A: Yes, we are very much hopeful of peace if the government can take this peace process boldly without succumbing to the pressures of various forces. Otherwise we are very hopeful.
Q: How soon do you think you would be able to arrive at a solution?
A: This is again dependent on the government when to start the fourth round of talks and again they have to settle day to day problems of Tamils. And it depends on this.
Continued from page 11 some time before the two sides learn to trust each other and help each other tackle the difficulties both are facing with regard to their own extremists.
But whatever the problems, whatever the obstacles that are bound to interrupt this process at every stage of its development, we are in the lucky position of being able to learn from the courageous efforts of fellow peacemongers in other parts of the world and take encouragement from their achievements, and utilise them in our own search for a lasting peace.
15 APRIL 1995
Chandrika Kumaratunga, til and the Tamil Confli
by Adele Ann Balasingham
Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga's credentials for Presidential office were given unprecedented endorsement and a vote of confidence by wider sections of the Sinhala masses. She was swept to power by a tidal wave of popular support. Her age represented a new generation of politicians at the helm of State affairs; her political history represented a departure from the widescale violence and oppression of past governments; her western education represented a coming together of progressive, informed ideals and Buddhist traditions.
Chandrika talked of peace not war, unity not division. She displayed potential as a democrat capable of understanding, accommodating and working with various shades of opinion and approaches. These characteristics augured well for the Sinhala population and at the same time generated a great deal of optimism amongst the Tamil community in the north and east. Euphoria amongst the Tamilsstemmed, however, from a conception that Chandrika's qualities would be conducive to finding a permanent political settlement to the most critical, intractable and complex issue that affects their lives. The new, untainted Chandrika, they hoped, represented rationality; someone who would bravely and boldly take up the national conflict, confront racism in her electorate and offer a political solution that would satisfy the aspiration of the Tamil people. -
However, the euphoria and expectations of the Tamil people when Chandrika assumed the Presidency have slowly disintegrated into disillusionment and a sense of hopelessness. Her approach to the national conflict, her handling of the LTTE in the negotiating process and her attitude towards the sufferings and hardships of the Tamil people indicate that she is unrealistic and unskilled in the art of dealing with complex and serious issues.
The political orbit in the south around which Chandrika conducts her affairs has no symmetry in the politics of the north and east. It is neither of the same trajectory or calibre. The democratic Parliamentary politics of the south has space for political wheeling and dealing, coaxing and cudgelling; it can be about gaining and losing power etc. The politics of the northeast
are of a different ( grave than Chanc fronted in her p dealing with a na have been subject blood-curdling rac: tematic denial of b nomic embargo, mi usurpation of the displacement and Tamil people’s pol armed struggle for The commitment, preparedness for of self-sacrifice b conducting that str is unmatched in t dealing with the flict Chandrika en dimension of the must constantly be Tamil people and hausted with Sinha the Tamil national ing tool for oppositi fed up with the f governments to rel ness of the Tamil p In so far as the concerned the nati and death strugg survive and such beyond the realm gerrymandering ar their gameplay.
Chandrika, bein State, is constitu obligations and wards all citizens i nationality, race a over-riding duty ti terests, needs an citizens. If Chandr people as a cruc. Lankan citizenry, s obligations and wards the Tamil p the aggrieved coml socio-economic prC out by years of w; violence. The right their struggle for determination anc the LTTE, should judice the role al Head of State in equal justice an citizens. The reluct Chandrika to mak sions on several is impinge on the liv Tamils who have essential items in
TAM TIMES 15
limension, far more lrika has ever conolitical life. She is tion of people who ed to mind-chilling, ist violence, of sysbasic rights, an ecolitary atrocities and ir traditional land, dispossession. The itics is a politics of self-determination. determination and extraordinary feats y the organisation "uggle — the LTTE - he world today. In Tamil national conters into a different political world. She 'ar in mind that the the LTTE are exala politicians using question as a baiton politics; they are ailure of successive flect on the seriouspeople's aspirations.
Tamil people are onal conflict is a life le of a nation to
a sacred issue is
of cheap political hd does not figure in
g the head of the tionally bound to responsibilities toirrespective of their nd religion. It is her o safeguard the inld concerns of all
ika views the Tamil
ial element of Sri she has unavoidable responsibilities toeople since they are munity with serious oblems brought abar, persecution and t of political choice,
the right to selftheir support for not in anyway prend function of the
the dispensing of d fairplay to all tance on the part of e bold and just decisues that seriously res of the northern
been deprived of ecessary for their
social and economic existence, casts serious doubt as to whether she is acting as the Head of State conscious of her duties and responsibilities. The LTTE has accused her of partisanship for having given primacy to the interests of the Sinhalese army over and above the concerns of the Tamil people. It is crucial that Chandrika realises that the issues raised at the negotiating table cannot be reduced to private demands of the LTTE to promote their military interests but rather are genuine, urgent problems experienced by the people in the North.
The general criticism levelled against Chandrika among the Tamil circles is that she has failed to display a sense of seriousness in her approach to the LTTE, whereas the LTTE was deadly serious. Thus for example, Chandrika dispatched her negotiating team of bureaucrats with a mandate to work out a programme to alleviate the suffering of the Tamil people by resolving their day to day problems and to embark on a reconstruction programme immediately. It was widely expected that she would do just that during the early stages of the dialogue. The absence of politicians with the background knowledge of the ethnic conflict has made the LTTE believe that Chandrika's government was genuinely committed to address the socio-economic issues that confronted the northern Tamils. But the long delay in starting the reconstruction programme, the apprehensive reluctance to lift the ban on fuel and other essential items, the hostility and intransigence shown in withdrawing the Pooneryn army camp to facilitate the free and safe passage of the Jaffna people, indicate that her initial initiatives were superficial and had more to do with military concerns and southern politics.
It is generally assumed that Chandrika was not confident of an outright victory at the Presidential polls and anticipated that elections would be held in the North and therefore attempted to win the Tamil vote by offering pledges to resolve all the urgent problems coupled with extensive, economic relief. Furthermore, a yes vote for Chandrika from the Tamils in the north would certainly have enabled her to argue that she and she alone was the authentic representative of the Tamil people. Her political leverage over the Tamil population in the north would have been complete. But events took a different turn. Chandrika's political strategy did not materialise and her approach towards the Tamils and the LTTE changed
Continued on page 16
16 TAMIL TIMES
Continued from page 15
radically. The letters of communication exchanged between the Government and the LTTE demonstrate that the Government attempted to bypass the day to day issues. The LTTE however stood firm on the position and insisted that the early stages of the negotiation, should deal with the urgent immediate issues of the Tamils.
The contradictory positions of the Government and the LTTE, with regard to modalities of talks and the issues to be addressed have created an impasse in the peace process. The three rounds of talks that took place for only a few hours a day have failed to achieve anything substantial other than a fragile cessation of hostilities for which even the monitoring committees are not appointed. Failing to fulfil pledges made around election time is a common game played by politicians. It does not in itself make Chandrika a dishonest politician. However, the developments in the negotiating process where pledges are broken with such ease lead one to conclude that Chandrikas perceptions of the Tamil conflict and the LTTE are contiguous with the old order.
Ultimately, in contravention of established negotiating procedure and protocol, the Government has unilaterally announced the implementation of its unacceptable strategy regarding the economic embargo and the opening of a path. In other words, the Government is totally dismissive of both the LTTE's and the Tamil people's wishes and has reverted to the old role of a central authoritarian Government imposing its objectives on a population that thirsts to decide its own political destiny.
While the discourse of political negotiations has reached a standstill, the Government is actively involved in building and consolidating the military machine. This has alarmed the LTTE. The boost in defence spending, the continuing recruitment campaign, special combat training programmes, military hardware purchases - such projects of militarisation amount to a preparation for war and have contributed to a deepening scepticism among the Tamils and the LTTE regarding the Government's intentions.
Where, therefore, does Chandrika stand on the Tamil issue and the LITTE? Well, by entering into negotiations with the LTTE she has acknowledged the LTTE as a major player in the national conflict. However, having realised that the LTTE can neither be manipulated or seduced into Govern
ment acquiescenc has fallen back i dismissive attitude Sinhala politicians by the Governme since a national st by a national move esis of Chandrika” we should never fo ka, despite her w ming les essent bourgeoisie and t tocracy and inevita to the influences er social circle.
However, Chand. her basic loyalties by her political pl issue she scores v Jayewardene, Pre jetunga and the oth elite articulated chauvinists Chand Multi-ethnic, mul religious concepts within her liberal, society. For Cha) “minorities' in the liberal tradition the well and equally. Fo a group of angry
The Peac R
Peace is somethin earnestly desire, í than the ordinary try, who one way suffered the most.
Yet the path is : cost of wrong conce dy groundwork ar most tragic for th least ability to i made. It is this as which causes the g
Do the governm and peace activists ate understanding its ramifications?
Presentations on South have been legal, economic & aspects, and not le foreign relations, in of India.
Several of these enlightened and ha tion the constricti nationalist ideolog astrous politics bas
Yet these have ge the heart of the ma
15 APRIL 1995
the Government to a high-handed characteristic of all
Such a revelation nt was inevitable uggle spearheaded ment is the antiths mindset. Firstly, rget that Chandri'orldly experience, ially with the he Kandyan arisbly will be exposed nanating from that
Biophy rika's ancestry and are neatly masked hilosophy. On this fell. Whereas J.R. madasa and Wier Sinhala political and behaved like ika is more subtle. ti-lingual, multifit appropriately pluralist view of ndrika there are island, but in the y must be treated or her, the LTTE is young men and
women rightly outraged by the injustices perpetrated against them by previous regimes. However, when good government comes to power and guarantees their rights then they should accept this hand of friendship and get on with the life of a model citizen. All this is very acceptable to the liberal mind but for the Tamils it amounts to nothing more than old wine in new, more sophisticated and crafted bottles.
Chandrika’s pluralist philosophy cannot fit into the political vision of the LTTE. For them the Tamil people constitute themselves as a nation with an inalienable right to a homeland and the Tamil issue should be dealt with as a nationality problem. The principle of national self-determination, which provides for nations the freedom to choose and shape their political destiny is the cardinal principle on which the LTTE's struggle is based. The Tamil Tigers are firmly committed to their principles and are prepared to die for their cause. The big question remaining therefore, is, can these two sets of contradictory perceptions be reconciled in the negotiating process.
(Courtesy of Inside Report published by the LTTE from Jaffna).
ce Question : Understanding eality on Both Sides
by Rajan Hoole and K. Sritharan
g that most of us and none more so people of this counor the other, have
so perilous and the 'ptualisation, shodd wrong decisions ose who have the nfluence decisions pect of the matter reatest concern. ent, its negotiators possess an adequof the problem and
the subject in the mainly to do with nd constitutional ast the impact on particular the role
have been very ve gone on to quesng role of Sinhala 7 and of the dised on it.
nerally not gone to tter, which if they
do, raises several awkward moral questions.
If these moral questions are not discussed we will fail to understand the very deep seated alienation of the Tamil community and the frightening repressive machinery that has been erected within this community, supposedly as the only means of resisting state oppression. The failure to understand one would also mean an inability to understand the other, except to be awed by its destructive potential from time to time.
Take the matter of well attested removal by the forces of hundreds of Tamil civilians from refugee camps in the East who then disappeared; the bombing and shelling of civilian areas in the North with no evident rational purpose, leaving the civilians to believe that they were the intended victims; and the Welikade prison massacre of July 1983. These cannot be put down to spur of the moment reflex action, but stemmed to a large extent from consciously articulated state policy.
Without going into a catalogue of
15 APRIL 1995
alleged discrimination, we pose one question: As regards state policy, what does the Mahaveli Authority's 'Welli Oyra settlement signify, not just tak.g. into account the Tamil inhabitants driven away, but also the not less hapless Sinhalese civilians settled there to lead a grim existence?
Until recently there has been very little, if any, public discussion about these in South. If raised at all, it was mostly to be then buried away as collateral effects of conflict. The human aspect of this violence is seldom faced up to, how it has scarred a people to the point of legitimizing a growth such as the LTTE.
At present, assessments of the problem commonly held by people in decision making circles, negotiators and the peace lobby could be dangerously complacent. The jarring facts are skirted. The LTTE is treated as a classic rebel group wanting maximum advantage at negotiations, but eventually willing to compromise like most rebel groups. After all guerrilla leaders are supposed to mellow and want to settle down once they are about 40
Did not Prabakharan reach 40 last year? Are not, after all LTTE leaders sending their offspring to leading Mission schools? Surely, they are administering Jaffna very well and would like the opportunity to administer it better once sufficient progress has been made in the peace process to start sending in the resources for reconstruction. Can the LTTE after all go on resisting international opinion?
Indeed, there were very similar expectations in 1987 and 1990 and something went tragically wrong. Securing the peace therefore demands greater attention to the internal complexities of the problem.
Some grim realities
The November 15, 1994 issue of Ulakath Thamilar published by the World Tamil Movement in Toronto reproduced the speech made by LTTE leader Prabakaran on "Great Heroes Day' November 27 1989, undoubtedly on centrally directed instructions. It said:
"Moreover, where Prabakaran is concerned, Prabakaran is not an individual. He is the representative of a nation. Should Prabakaran become a traitor to Tamil Eelam, as did Amirthalingam earlier, he too would deserve to be shot dead. Therefore as we celebrate great Heroes Day, traitors
should also be extirpated from the
midst of the people'.
The special issue of the journal was
ostensibly meant to glorify young men
and women, often children, whose
lives were sacrific cause. The editorial
“Upon the 27th d youngster (Lt. Shan tyr) closed his eyel the words: “We will (that will see an en of the Tamils) unles and pay the price w
Such stirring stu companions for ot journal the sum of horrifying and vulg the hypocricy and whole business.
The current recru East is not through and publications as of the struggle whi put forward their questions could be through showing v. of heroic action by aftermath of atrocit young children and emotions. Those giv tary consent are qui These are done where even during peace, elders in Eas not ask questions ab this exercise.
There are of cour children recruited ir become complete w sent into villages to and Sinhalese, incl children: or of chi blown and trauma used in wasteful slec in attempts to brea Sri Lankan army ca options were repea preference to this and mental death a never asked.
What we are wit the very elaborate requiring child-sac. cial victims are th Tamil poor in the N away after being a tics in the form of a their elders have watch in silence.
Behind the L
Different segmen through their natio see and identify cer LTTE as represent But they are not p LTTE's politics wit toto and thus iden core. For certain si need for that exerci out when conveni hand for the rural dren who are living
TAMIL TIMES 17
d for the LTTE's the whole affair is a deadly snare.
stated: The LTTE through internal terror ly of November a as well as its narrow nationalist rhecar, the first mar- toric coupled to a militaristic approach, ds after uttering institutionalised a culture of hatred not see the dawn and death to the extent that it is to the sufferings unable to come out of its suicidal ; we spill our blood course. A unique brand of personal ith our life””. loyalty to the leader and to the moveff makes strange ment, imposed through an oath her items in the together with continuous brain which brings out a washing is the hallmark of the LTTE. ar reality showing The LTTE's cause may be unattaincynicism in the able and utterly destructive, and perhaps it sees no room for manoeuvre for all that it has done. But it has never been in confusion about what it ought to do in a given situation. Its mind has been very clear about how it should maximize advantage from the confusion and opportunism of others whether state powers, intellectuals, peace makers, religious leaders or others.
tment drive in the political meetings in the early phase 're several groups alternatives and raised. It is but deos and pictures he LTTE and the les by the forces to thus rousing their s The dilemmas of peace
ing their momen- The peace process currently underckly carried away way comes from the heart of the people under conditions of the South, and is an opportunity not negotiations for to be mislaid. It must be pursued even stern villages can if the chances of immediate success are out the purpose of low. It would seem that so much hope has been placed on the success of se no videos about present negotiations and the conthe past who had tinuance of the ceasefire, that little "recks after being thought is given to alternative and massacre Muslims more likely scenarios.
uding women and When things do go wrong, the elite ldren with limbs who influenced decisions and are retised after being sponsible for misjudgements could lgehammer tactics shrug their shoulders and walk away ch the defences of to other gainful pursuits. But who is mps. Why political going to be responsible for the ordinitedly Spurned in ary people who will bear the brunt of massive physical misjudgements? This unchanging e questions almost propensity to go on repeating the same blunders every few years is among the lessing is in effect biggest intellectual and moral failures ritual of a religion in the South. ifice. The sacrifi- Any dilution of democracy in the e children of the South, any perceived attacks on free orth-East, carried expression, will work to the detriment lministered narco- of the peace process. It must be rection videos, while membered that the main constraint on no choice but to the LTTE is the overwhelming desire for peace on the part of the Tamil people. TEE's actions The PA leadership had taken a very is of Tamil society positive approach on the ethnic issue nalist perceptions during the election campaigns, which tain aspects of the was unparalleled in post independence ng their interests. politics. But to translate the positive epared to see the sentiments into corresponding actions its dynamism in and produce adequate results needs to ify its destructive overcome several obstacles ahead. As ctions there is no we mentioned earlier, the LTTE's polieas they could opt tics or for that matter the dominant nt. On the other Tamil politics is not going to help in poor and the chil- removing such obstacles. in the North-East, Continued on page 18
18 TAMIL TIMES
Continued from page 17
There are Tamil opinion makers constantly trying to push the message that ultimately the Sinhalese cannot be trusted and any Sinhala government will betray the Tamils.
They do not acknowledge the healthy change in the south, which is still a nascent plant. Instead of taking responsibility to help to grow to maturity, they would do everything to frustrate and destroy it. Should the peace process fail, they would be the happiest to boast about their prophetic prescience in having always been right about the Sinhalese. Their Sinhalese counterparts are also waiting in the sidelines to complement them.
With the prospect of renewed war not to be taken lightly, serious thought must be given to how the army is going to respond to contingencies. As things stand there is the very serious danger that if conflict were to resume an angry army would again take it out on Tamil citizens in the East, while bombs and shells rain on Jaffna. Then much of what was gained by the initiatives taken would be lost. After all these years of tragedy there has been no frank appraisal accompanied by institutional changes to ensure that the forces do not respond according to the agenda determined by the LTTE.
A large share of the responsibility in securing the peace lies also with the Tamil elite. It is their responsibility to understand and renounce the hypocrisy and double standards that legitimise the LTTE brand of nationalism.
We should stop talking and behaving as though all what this politics has made the ordinary people of the NorthEast pay in blood, ruin, mental trauma, torture and pervasive insecurity is in order to enable a class of Tamils living elsewhere to move with dignity and security.
Why have all these people died, why are so many innocent young beings involuntarily taken away from their parents to bear arms to sustain this cause needs to be answered. We also need to be sensitive to the perceptions of ordinary Sinhalese people who also have their experience of the LTTE.
We also need to get away from the notion that we could go on blaming the State and the Sinhalese while pretending that Tamils being the victims, persistent atrocious behaviour by their so called leaders is of no relevance. That could only give us some perverse pleasure in bringing out the worst in others while inexorably destroying ourselves. (Courtesy: The Sunday Times, 26.3.95).
Miscon In a
The aim of this some misconception anxieties considere many Sri Lankans of change towards and prosperity for Lanka. The comp provided are larg writer's understa structures of politie in the developed countries and the Obviously, some n experiences and vi it is hoped that thi interest others to views and concer time. Any discussic governance suitabl gion must take into social, cultural an and the "democrati prevailed in the w independence.
Democracy is wid a government in v power is vested i exercised by them t representation u periodically held many societies of countries (LDCs), new twentieth cent from a monolithic c tic government ele opposition in the p the division is base in the political id parties and/or in achieving the u economic goals of system of rule of th in democracy worl nation-states, whe) ties are constituted political ideologies territorial, religio grounds. This is ta nation-state is cha in habitation homogeneous peop tend to be forme division in many sc marily because of differences and di been suppressed ea ign or authoritaria
The comment is t rule of the majority harmony with its s ethnic or religious
15 APRIL 1995
ceptions and Anxieties Time of Change
by Dr. S. Narapalasingam
aper is to discuss is and well-founded d to prevail among at this crucial time the promised peace
all citizens of Sri arative comments ely based on the inding of known s and governments and less developed ways they function. hay have different ews. Nevertheless, s presentation will
reflect their own ns at this critical in on the system of e for the Tamil reaccount its distinct d economic factors c' system that has hole country since
.. . " . از " زین
Lely known to mean which the supreme n the people and hrough a system of usually involving free elections. To the less developed this is relatively a ury concept copied ulture. A democracted freely, has an arliament. Ideally, d on the differences ologies of various their means of indisputed sociothe society. The e majority inherent ks satisfactorily in e the various parsolely on different and not on ethnic, us and sectarian be expected as a aracterised by the of relatively le. Political parties d along parochial vereign states, primarked historical sputes, which had rlier by either foreh rule. hat the centralised in democracy is in pirit only when all or regional groups
accept its authority as the rational arrangement of exercising their right to govern themselves. Yet the concept of democracy is desired by all diverse groups found within existing states, which once were separate territories. The two desires viz. the preservation of the coherence of the state in existing form and the acceptance of the rule of the majority inherent in democracy are inconsistent in such heterogenous societies.
They can be reconciled without oppressive rule only by the decentralisation of some agreed powers of governance to the relevant regions. In essence, this is the democratic federal system of government. There are numerous possibilities of constituting a federal system and this subject is not within the scope of this paper.
Any system of rule based strictly on social justice must observe social equality rejecting hereditary, caste and arbitrary class distinctions or privileges. Social justice and true democracy are complementary attributes of ethical rule. The persistent work of Mahatma Gandhi to eradicate casteism and unite all sections of Indians must be seen in this light, besides the moral issue involved. Hence, even under decentralised democratic rule there should not be any discriminations based on caste or creed. The awareness of oneness that gives credence to a nation-state must prevail similarly in the autonomous region to the smooth working of democracy there. Democracy without social justice and the rule of law is concealed form of fascism. Indeed, it can be manipulated to reinforce social inequalities instead of promoting social justice. Hence, democracy does not necessarily guarantee social justice or ethical rule.
One party rule
The choice to elect freely the desired political parties to represent the people in parliament is an important ingredient of true democracy. One party governments are known to claim to be democratic. In practice, this has been found to be easily susceptible to abuse of ruling powers. There are, however, situations when governments of national unity are formed in democratic societies, especially during times of
15 APRIL 1995
war when their sovereignty is threatened by external aggressions. Societies committed to democracy will not accept this as a permanent arrangement to be continued indefinitely even after the hostilities have ended.
There seems to be some anxiety regarding the perceived commitment of the LTTE to a political system based on one party rule, inferred from the use of coercive methods to assert its dominance in the North-East region. In a recent interview with the press (excerpts were published in the February, 1995 issue of Tamil Times), its chief spokesman allayed this fear when he replied: "Once a political solution is reached, not only the LTTE but any political party could seek representation at a free and fair election'. The justification for the authoritarianism of this group had been ascribed to the war it was waging against the State to obtain an independent sovereign state of Tamil Eelam. Its firm commitment to socialist ideology had also been viewed by some, discerned from an interview given by the leader in 1986, as favouring a single party rule. (Ref: The Sri Lankan Tamils, edited by Chelvadurai Manogaran and Bryan Pfaffenberger, 1994).
The well-informed Taraki (this is a pseudonym), after his recent visit to Jaffna has stated in an article (The Island of March 5, 1995) that today's LTTE is very different. Its ranks are "moulded in a manner to make them respect and work in a system which is fast developing a distinct and regularised division of labour between military and civilian matters.' It has put in place independent administrative and legal systems with defined structures, within a very short period. Many independent observers have praised the widespread discipline, the absence of anti-social activities, and the observance of law and order seen prominently within the area under the control of LTTE.
One cannot overlook the fact that the social reform that has taken place in the North as a result of abolishing the rigid caste hierarchy, raising women's status, prohibiting the demand of dowries, etc., would not have materialised voluntarily without this kind of approach. The canon of liberation movements worldwide is that the end justifies the means. Notwithstanding the existing belligerent condition, some appear to be apprehensive of the excessive restrictions on individual freedoms similar to those found in police states. Any comment on this anxiety at this stage before the peaceful settlement of the conflict may be
conjectural. Howe the perpetuation not be tolerated b. er, the active pa investors in eco which has become be deterred by su normal activities Socialism
Both ethnic gro committed to soci lamations of val Tamil leaders. Th imply different n parlance. Socialis governmental ow. tration of the mea distribution of g. society or group is no private propi difficulty in reco with the free m cated by the indus the LDCs. Neve ernments of the Lanka, which pu policy of privatis assets find some their commitment In the poorer cc perception seems is not strictly the ( but more opposed tion. According t tionary capitalism system character corporate owners by investments th private decision ra trol, and by prices distribution of gc mined mainly by market'. The conc an ideal and is no even by its arder own economies. T ples to substantia sufficient here to restriction impos textiles from Sri government.
Socialism view ensure fair dist wealth and oppo employees from ployes and consu selling inferior a and services, p] services essentia (human) develop vate sector canno lic interest), and the children, the certainly a nobl imply interventic public interest a can expect the forces to act in
ale. This intervent rious forms, some
TAMIL TIMES 19
"er, it is certain that f such practices will the people. Moreovicipation of private omic development, the global norm will ch strict policing of luring peacetime.
ups in Sri Lanka are alism from the procious Sinhalese and s concept appears to eanings in common m, in theory means tership and adminisns of production and ods or a system of ving in which there rty. One can see the nciling this concept arket concept advotrialised countries to theless, many govLDCs, including Sri rsue vigorously the Ing the state-owned virtue in retaining , to socialism. untries, the popular to be that socialism opposite of capitalism to private exploitao an American dicmeans 'an economic ized by private or hip of capital goods, at are determined by ather than state con, production, and the pods that are detercompetition in a free ept of free market is t applied universally it advocates in their here are many examte this view but it is mention the quota 2d on the import of Lanka, by the US
ed as a means to ribution of power, rtunity, protect the
unscrupulous emmers from exploiters hd harmful products ovide certain basic for socio-economic ment (which the prit provide in the pubcare for the future of sick and the needy is concept. All these n by the state in the hd obviously no one
inanimate market a humane and just
on takes place in vaof which may appear
inimical to democratic principles. In practice, it is necessary to protect the weaker sections of the society from being exploited and subjugated by the more powerful groups. Certainly, it is abhorrent when misused to satisfy selfish demands or those of some pressure groups. Democratic freedom is not absolute as it is conditioned by the rights of other members of the society. It is precisely for this reason that various legislations and regulations as well as institutions to administer them impartially are necessary in a true democracy (where the freedoms are not abused). The interference by any arm of government in the judiciary or in the democratic process is unacceptable and definitely undermines democratic rule.
The point emphasized here is that the commitment of a group or a government to socialism is not to be feared as something dreadful; on the contrary his is most essential for the progress of all societies. Democracy and socialism are two sides of the same coin and together prevent exploitation of ordinary citizens as consumers and employees either by powerful individuals or groups or private institutions or importantly by the state itself, provided the social aspects of the two concepts as indicated above are observed. It is relevant to mention that the socialist parties in Western Europe are vehement defenders of democracy.
Ultimately, it is the will of the people that will determine the system of governance and dominate events. The newly emerged students group, the Taleban, in Afghanistan is currently controlling one-third of the country with the support of the people. It has set out to disarm the militant groups that fought against the army of the former Soviet Union. The former Mujahidins who liberated Afghanistan from Soviet occupation and influence and subsequently continued the internecine feud are in full control with the help of their military might in the capital Kabul. However, the Talebans are a force that cannot be ignored in forming the interim government. This development in Afghanistan cannot be brushed aside as an exception. Any group however powerful, once it has lost the confidence of the people can control them only at great economic and social cost which in the end will turn out to be self-defeating.
Sri Lankan Experience
All Sri Lankan governments had proclaimed persistently and loudly their commitments to democracy and socialism. The most vociferous of all was the UNP government elected to Continued on page 26
20 TAML TIMES
Marxism and Ethni Rethinking the Fundan
by Dr. Kumar David
(Continued from previous issue).
This section of the paper is devoted to an examination of nature of the state in the newly independent countries and its interaction with class formation and the national question. The first point that needs to be made is that as colonialism withdraws it does not leave behind a society with a strong potential ruling class in place. The other side of the same coin is the economic backwardness and the weakness and distortion of the productive forces in these countries. From the beginning, therefore, the state is an unstable and tottering structure. The most primitive form is the military state, governance by the crude violence of a body of armed oppressors in a manner reminiscent of the ordering of the proto-state among old barbarian hordes. The junta, in the case of the smallest or most unstable military regimes, rests on the narrowest of possible social bases, the military itself, which is held together by pure violence until it is overthrown by another armed horde similarly intent on plunder. Even if less transparent in some case, this is the taxonomical genesis and quintessential character of all third world military dictatorships.
In larger countries with military regimes, the formal class structures are better formed. Although the ruling class is not always able to sustain power, at all times on its own within and through civil society, it does have its residues of strength. It also has its liberal and democratic segments who despise the uncouthness of the gangsters in khaki uniform. The relationship between the military regime and the class basis of government and state is now a more complex and changeable one. In this unstable environment, with both the ruling class and the sections of the military leaning for support on narrow and specific social segments, the activation of ethnicity as a political dimension is frequent. This is the only way these entities can survive once bereft of their moral basis. At best, the state and the proto-state may enjoy short lived periods of ideological hegemony during moments of military victory over the ethnic 'enemy, but true political hege
mony and moral a their own people, a Physical suffering where conditions of er accentuates this state and the prot respective ethnic pe
Ethnic instability peculiarity of the T moment of writi attempting to tear future relationship countries is a matt tion, and there is the Basque Provinc a few. Yugoslavia a reference point to m points about the pro tion of nation states
The consolidation Slav nationalities (:t into a single state tuous ways that can fall of the Austro-H up to its realization Yugoslavia. Throug and up to now, ethno domination, Croa Albanian “irredentis: now dormant, now t political landscape c tion state. The prog) made, though haltin has to do with tw recognition by South of the mutual advant and the natural tend from the ideolog Communism.'
As new nations in and elsewhere as t Soviet examples sh wards the consolic states, two crucial learnt. First periods will alternate with pe rupture, and second, may include the r boundaries of thes Furthermore, the ti in nation formation long one and is deep economic success an economically adva USA, Canada, Italy, many, France, main on, although ethnic c absent, the issue oft national boundaries nificance.
The general hypo analysis leads to is
15 APRIL 1995
eptability, among ways evades them. in those cases war prevail, furthalienation of the b-state from their pulations.
, however, is not a hird World. At the g Yugoslavia is tself apart and the
of the ex-soviet er of much contenlster, Quebec and es, to mention but ppears to be a good ake some relevant blems of consolida
of several South ribe and kingdom) took place in torbe traced from the Hungarian empire in Tito's Socialist hout this period, centrism, Serbian tian extremism, m', have remained hreatening, on the f the modern naress that has been g and interrupted, to imperatives; a Slav nationalists ages of Slav unity encies that flowed y of Yugoslav
the third world, he Yugoslav and ow, struggle tolation of nation
lessons can be
of consolidation riods of crisis and the later periods -drawing of the 2 nation states. he scale inherent is an extremely ly punctuated by d failure. In the nced countries, Switzerland, Gerand-UK, and so onflict is far from he redefinition of s not of real sig
hesis that this hat while class,
state and ethnic variables (or political and military factors, to state it in another way) account for the sharp turns and sometimes irreversible ruptures and rearrangements, in the long run the consolidation of the nation state, arising partly therefrom, is determined mainly by the economic success of the prevailing mode of production. To put it crudely, there are two dis-synchronous time cycles at work, and they impinge on each other and are partly, but not wholly, determined by each other. Therefore, we have to think of overdetermination as a dynamic concept describing a changing reality, and to understand that the impinging of these two different structures on each other mediates the metabolism of change. The consolidation of new nation states is imbued with an uncertainty at the root of which lies this dis-synchrony of the determining events and variables.
Limits of Conventional Solutions
The turmoil arising from ethnic conflict has now been with us for several decades and much has been attempted, and written about, as a 'solution' to the problem. To the extent that all of these answers have been around and/or been attempted in practice for this long, they are neither new nor radical any more, and for this reason, it is convenient to refer to them as conventional solutions. To this category belong 'solutions' of the left and the right, of oppressors and the oppressed, and among them number the following:-
a) Forcible, mainly military, integration, incorporation or elimination of recalcitrant ethnicities. b) Civil wars, national liberation struggles, separatism.
c) Federalism, regionalism, autonomy, democratization, economic decentralization, implemented to various degrees and in various forms.
d) Statesmanship, its opposite political chicanery, linkage between class politics and self determination concepts, ethno-coalition politics.
e) Foreign interference, intervention or intercession, by other countries and/or various agencies such as the UN, EEC, IMF, human rights and peace movements.
In practice, obviously, many or all of these factors are at work all the time and in each case some one or the other is the central strategy at any given time. In this section of the paper the limits of such solutions will be explored in general terms; although based on the experiences of the last four decades, explicit references to individual cases will be avoided for the sake of brevity.
15 APRIL 1995
The first assertion that I believe is possible, is that, unlike in previous centuries (the colonial and the settler period) a forcible or military solution is exceptional, if not impossible, in the present period. That is to say, a military solution to a mature ethnic movement, whether by its defeat or conversely by the victory of separatism, is very exceptional indeed. The reasons lie in both the changed nature and balance of world politics as well as in world technological changes and the near universal accessibility of this technology, albeit at a price.
The second important feature is to understand the complex, and in a sense peculiar, ways in which constitutional re-arrangements and enhanced democratisation can effect ethnic instabilities. Thus, for example, the transition from a repressive regime under which ethnic tension lay invisible, to a more democratic one which sets about attempting to restore greater autonomy, may lead not to a period of compromise and harmony, but
rather to a period in which various.
extremist tendencies gain ground, narrow chauvinist ideas triumph and ethnic clashes in society multiply. The root cause here is to do with the fundamental limitedness ofethnic consciosness itself, which question will be discussed a little later in this section.
Much has been said about democracy and autonomy/devolution being the corner-stones of a solution to ethnic conflict. Great faith has been placed on this approach by democratic peoples movements in affected countries and by international human rights and peace agencies. Undoubtedly, these assertions as a set of core ideas are valuable. The point, however, is that their limitedness as a complete programme, has not been sufficiently drawn out and discussed.
There is a fundamental contradiction, therefore, between ethnicity as the embodiment of the identity of a separate consciousness (arising from and carrying the stamp of an isolated mode of production), and the reality of modern nation states and, indeed, the modern world, where the integration of the mode of production is far advanced, and material intercourse is universalised between different peoples and inextricably intertwined between nations.
Some discussion of ethnic consciousness is in order at this point. There are several conflicting value judgements that have to be ordered and reconciled. There is ethnicity as the specificity, the richness and the repository of the culture of a particular people; there is tolerance and respect for all ethnicities
and the call for a 'cel ity’; there is identit security and hope f exploited races and ethnicity as a narr material world whi grown the origins of of separate identitie: ity as a politically an influence; there is et chauvinism and prej the trite observation good but too much ol is bad for the body philosophy has not say. Something m crying to be said.
It has to be recog consciousness, in the a remembrance of th mankind grows it wi St. Paul, put aside Surely, there will be of our heritage inst particularisation of identity and security ity provides, and w important at times to theless be seen as an in the longer journ has undertaken. Wl navigate the sun an will they still carry til ties with them? Pe gives rise to the need regarding ethnic ide base kind.
I am using the ter as differentiated f sciousness to denot ments, racism, intol and chauvinism wh the ethno-political st gies are still deep an the world; they are small numbers of le di viduals or organisations.'
The ever so com that say, racism or not run deep in the who are but innocent ful politicians, is not oversimplification. D sciousness, chauvin religious intolerance be, are ubiquitous id deep among the p ethnic groups, at le periods. It is simply and flies in the face dence to assert duu sustained ethnic cond folk, the ordinary r the middle classes, t on, are free from p noble savage and a tims of false leaders politicians. Ethnic id grip om mass audie
bration of pluraly as a haven of or oppressed and eligions; there is )w identity in a ch has far outEhe consciousness i; there is ethnicd morally divisive hnicity as racism, iudice. Apart from
that ethnicity is it, like red meat, . (politic), liberal nad much else to re, however, is
nised that ethnic final analysis, is lings past, and as l, in the words of
childish things'. a universalisation ead of an eternal it? The sense of 7 that particularnich indeed is so day, must neverephemeral phase 2y that mankind men men circumd settle on Mars heir ethnic identirhaps, and this for some remarks ology of a more
ms ethnic ideology rom ethnic conte the base elleterance, prejudice ich are a part of tene. Such ideolod divisive ail over not confined to ss enlightened into extremist
tforting assertion communalism, do 2 ordinary people ts misled by guilething but a naive ivisive ethnic conism, racism and , as the case may leologies that run eople in various ast for protracted untue and naive, of empirical eviring an epoch of lict that the rural man and woman, he worker, and so rejudice like the te simply the vicand opportunist eology has a deep inces for reasons
TAM TIMES 21
that have already been discussed in the foregoing pages and false prophets and opportunist politicans may be more a result than a cause. We can borrow this quote about the authoritarian state' and read it quite meaningfully with ethnicity in mind,
. . . .despite the notoriety of the Shah, Bokasa, Somoza and Gairy, and despite the unmistakable influence they have had on the state and on political forms in their societies, it is not the leaders who determined the character of these states - they are more effect than cause. Consequently, as we shall see, the authoritarian state cannot be reduced to the existence of a dictator or to authoritarian and dictatorial forms of rule, although these accompany it. We must look at the state as a historical materialist category and understand its social and material basis.
If, for example, Sinhala chauvinism is a fact, it is then also a deep reality of the consciousness of the corresponding people. To move forward in the long fight against false ideology is a major task that cannot be avoided. This is a sustained struggle and will not be accomplished in a few brief years and for long periods the task will fall on a few who have the vision and the courage to bear it. A whole epoch of disappointment and defeat will precede tangible achievements in the larger social arena. The reason why progress will be slow and difficult is because ethnic ideology has old and deep roots which have been reinforced by modern social and political conflict and economic crisis. The defeat of ethnic ideology, a sine qua non for ending ethnic conflict, will necessarily be a protracted process.
At a sufficiently philosophical level the ideology of ethnicity must be rejected as false consciousness. The economic unification of the world is irreversible and modern science implies the universalisation of knowledge. As barriers break down, culture intermingling is going on apace. Yet the rights of op pre s s e d na ti on s t o selfdetermination must be upheld, democratic and cultural-linguistic-religious rights of ethnic minorities must be protected and a plural, and by implication secular, society must be advanced. Do these two assertions appear to contradict each other? I think not. It is not a contradiction to accept the unavoidable limitations of the world as one finds it while undertaking at one and the same time a commitment to
Continued on page 23
22 TAMIL TIMES
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Continued from page 21
ending such limitations. Surely, it is
not contradictory to say:
Religion is at once the expression of real oppression and the protest against that oppression. Religion is the sign of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, the soul of soulless conditions. ...To abolish religion as the illusory happiness of the people is a demand for their real happiness. The call to abandon illusion about their conditions is the call to abandon a condition which requires illusion. Thus, the critique of religion is in embryo the critique of the vale of tears whose halo is religion. . . .Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers from the chain, not so that man may bear the chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he can cast off the chain and gather the living flower. . . so that he shall think, act, and fashion his reality as a man who has lost his illusions and regained his reason, so that he will revolve about himself as his own true Sun.
and while saying this, at the same time, to demand the freedom of religion for all men!
Another reason for reproducing this only too well known passage at some length is that there is a parallel between this criticism of the sociopsychological role of religion and the criticism of ethnic ideology as false consciousness in this paper.
The point then is that a true approach to ethno-politics must run simultaneously at two levels. One simply has to grasp the following dialectic: It is not only a commitment to oppose racial or religious oppression, to stand up against oppressive regimes and social orders, but also, in the final analysis, a commitment to a new and, paradoxically, opposite world order and vision of universal human consciousness. Therefore the issues of class and social justice are inseparable from those of national and ethnic justice. No organisation which fails to link these two aspects of social change within itself can achieve lasting solution to either.
The thesis developed in this paper has argued that ethnic-conflict as a modern political phenomenon is not confined to backward societies in which the state is still in the process of formation and consolidation, and that it will persist for a further period of human civilisation. The events of the last few years and more importantly their underlying causes - sustained
ethnic oppression a in part, on the pe: consciousness in ci have festered for n to the explosive r which manifestatio only signposts of th more fundamental justified this thesis. The paper has al activation, the cat ethnicity somersau tent state into the intense political ac understood on the historical materiali cannot be understo analysis, that is it stood in terms of based on the phil ethnic traits, anci supposed natural ch sciousness, and so race, religion or pe been borne out by re have furthermore fied the assertion th lem is religious in ol tic in a second, and far less important socio-economic dyna drive the events fol ly, this has justifie and use of the genel as a valid concept of modern political
The paper has dichotomous natura politics - being at time, an expression for liberation and enmity and xenoph of overde termin synchrony were fou thinking through dynamic nature o teractions between ments (economy, c ity) of a social for has argued against ist approaches and bunk naivete of ur depth of ethnic pre lace at large. A di which attempts to feasible at a given ment to a long ter advocated.
References and No
* Santasilan Ki Nationalism, self-de flict’ pp. 181-212 and and results of Racis 23-247, both in Et flict Crisis, op.cit.
'Kumar David, 'Sir out?, Capital and Cla 1990.
Clive Y. Thomas
The Glossary of
TAMIL TIMES 23
und conflict, based, rsistence of ethnic vil society — which hany decades prior manifestation, and ns are in any case he ebb and flow of rends, have amply
so insisted that the alysation, of some ilting it from a lasphere of real and tivity, can only be basis of a concrete, st, examination. It od from an idealist cannot be undera thesis primarily osophy, language, ent history, some haracteristicor conon, of a particular ople. This too has 2cent events, which dramatically justiat whether a probne location, linguisracial in a third, is
than the specific amics that actually ward. Theoreticald the introduction ric category ethnic” in the construction theory.
also discussed the 2 of modern ethnoone and the same of a peoples' desire a recrudescence of Lobia. The concepts ation time disund to be useful in
the uneven and f the complex in
the different ellelass, state, ethnicmation. The paper certain reduction
has sought to dehderestimating the judice in the popuialectical approach
reconcile what is time with commitm vision has been
adirgamer, ‘Lanka: termination and conKumar David, "Roots sm in Sri Lanka' pp. hnicity: Identity, Con
i Lanka: is there a way Iss, Number 40, Spring
, op.cit., 80-81. Louis Althusser's For
Marx, New Left Review Editions, London, 1977, provides the following explanation prepared by the translator Ben Brewester:
"OVERDETERMINATION: Freud used this term to describe (among other things) the presentation of the dream-thoughts in images privileged by their condensation of a number of thoughts in a single image, or the transference of psychic energy from a particular potent thought to apparently trivial images. Althusser uses the same term to describe the effects of the contradictions in each practice constituting the social formation as a whole, and hence back on each practice and each contradiction, defining the pattern of dominance and subordination, antagonism and nonantagonism of the contradictions in the structure in dominance at any given historical moment. More precisely, the overdetermination of a contradiction is the reflection in it of its conditions of existence within the complex whole, that is, of the other contradictions in the complex whole, in other words its uneven development.
Zachary T. Irwin, Yugoslavia and ethnonationalists', in Ethnic Separatism and World Politics', ed. Fredric L. University Press of America, Lanham, 1984, pp. 107,109,119.
' Bipan Chandra op. cit., p. 10 footnotes.
*** Clive Y. Thomas, op.cit., p. xx.
o Karl Marx, Introduction to Contribu
tion to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right', 1844.
(Courtesy: Serendipity Vol. 1 No.1).
24 TAM TIMES
Rise of Communalist Fo Congress Suffers Poll
by T.N. Gopalan
As had been widely expected, the Cong-I has suffered serious electoral reverses in the Assembly elections in Maharashtra and Gujarat in the western India, but it did score a surprise victory in Orissa. There has been some immediate fall-out - Prime Minister Narasimha Rao's strongest support K. Karunakaran had to bow out as the Chief Minister of Kerala in an attempt to refurbish the image of the Cong-i- led coalition ministry in that state and Finance Minister Manmohan Singh has been forced to come down from his high horse and reach out to the poor through some populist schemes in his budget for 1995-96.
Depending on the outcome of the polls in the violence-ridden Bihar - completed in the last week of March - the pressure on Narasimha Rao to restructure the party and administration might increase. But even of greater concern will be the future of the polity itself, as has been noted in these columns earlier, if there is no checking the Cong-I's relentless decline. As also of course the rise of the saffron power.
The blow to the party in Maharashtra, the most industrialised state in the country, was indeed shattering and also ominous, though not altogether unexpected. The Congcould bag only eighty seats in the 288-member Assembly. The Hindu fundamentalist Shiv Sena-BJP combine triumphed, winning 138 seats between them - though the tally was a few seats still short of absolute majority, it was clear that the Hindu fanatics had arrived in one of the most modern states in India.
For reasons best known to himself, Mr. Sharad Pawar, the outgoing Chief Minister, known as a consummate manipulator, decided against attempting to wean away any of the independents - 45 of them have been elected, most of the Cong-I rebels - and the Shiv Sena-led alliance came to power.
The Shiv Sena is the more rabid of the two parties and is never ashamed of its communal stance unlike its partner which would like to cover up its anti-Muslim predilections with highfalutin sentiments of patriotism, integrity of the nation and so on. It is almost apologetic about its communal
thrust in an attem sections which ar. moured by the ant revanchist groups
The Shiv Sena, here, started off in as basically an ant in Bombay, charg migrants were con adding a lot of pre: state capital, thu tremely difficul Marathi-speaking it did achieve som failed to make mu that time.
But when there the Hindu reviva North in the eigh led by its venom-sp Thackeray, gleeful communal bandwa er looked back sin
It is anti-Musli anti-backward cas forefront of the al Bombay in the wal of the Babri Masji BJP, though a mut is even nursing am power at the cent dent to become a ju alliance and not r wrong side whatev and kept humou Thackeray. The st vidends now and fundamentalism is part of the country
Apart from the Pawar regime, the ment, and the rebe ranks, the endless Muslims in the w blasts in Bombay posed to have turn the Cong-I. The m teach a lesson to while paying lip-se actually undermine
Conceding as mu a press conference party could win or seats where the m for more than 15 o
What will happ now is anybody's g
15 APRIL 1995
rces. As Defeat
pt to win over those e not too much enai-Muslim cries of the
it may be recalled the early seventies i-Tamil outfit, based ing that the Tamil nering a lot of jobs, ssure on space in the is making life ext for the native population. Though a success initially, it luch of an inroad at
was a resurgence of alist forces in the ties, the Shiv Sena pewing supremo Bal ly jumped into the gon and it has nevce then.
m, anti-Dalit and tes. It was in the nti-Muslim riots in xe of the demolition d in Ayodhya. The h bigger party and bitions of capturing re, thought it pruLnior partner in the b the Sena on the er the provocation ing the eccentric 'ategy has paid dithe flag of Hindu flying high in this
corruption of the
rising unemployllion in the Cong-I harassment of the ake of the serial is generally sup2d the tide against norities decided to the party which, vice to secularism, d them.
ch, Pawar noted in later on, that his ly three of the 44 norities accounted
n to the Muslims ess. Already there
is talk of detecting and deporting more than 40,000 refugees from Bangladesh residing in Bombay and who have 'surreptitiously acquired citizenship'- meaning ration cards - and restricting the crowds in mosques spilling over into the streets.
In the neighbouring Gujarat, the BJP, on its own, scored an even more crushing victory, bagging more than two-thirds of the seats in the 182member Assembly. The Cong-I could win only in 46 constituencies.
Though here too corruption and incompetence had characterised the outgoing Cong-I regime, the communal card did play a more important role than in Maharashtra. The BJP had many hot-heads from the Viswa Hindu Parishad (VHP, notionally responsible for the Masjid demolition and now banned) campaigning for it. The Gujarat electorate is believed to be highly communalised. Besides the harassed minorities here too were angry with the pseudo-secularist concerns of the Cong-I.
Though the campaign in both the states was shorn of any high-voltage attacks on the minorities and the speakers concentrated on the omissions and commissions of the governments in power because of the Seshan code, it is pointless to pretend as many of the media pundits are doing, that the results are merely a reflection of the anti-establishment sentiments of the electorate and that they do not signal a dangerous resurgence of rabid, intolerant and irresponsible fascist forces.
However, surely, it was the antiestablishment mood which tilted the scales against the Janata Dal in Orissa. The ageing Dal leader Biju Patnaik - whose government was unseated - had squandered away his popularity through many of his whimsical and autocratic actions. The Cong-I and the BJP being the other two tendencies - was a casualty of the current round of elections.
What is going to happen in the almost ungovernable state of Bihar - which sends as many as 54 MPs to the Lok Sabha and is perhaps the most backward of all the states in the country - is anybody's guess. Elections are being postponed time and again in many constituencies because of the reign of terror unleashed by some Maoist groups there. Even otherwise it always sets the pace for boothcapturing and other rigging tactics.
Some observers claim that the upper castes have ganged up against the minorities and the backward castes who find their champion in Chief Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav and that
15 APRIL 1995
the Cong-II might benefit in the pro
But the fact remains that as on date that the Cong-I stands badly mauled, none of the four metropolitan centres, Bombay, Calcutta, New Delhi and Madras, is under its control and so is the case with other important capitals like Hyderabad, Bangalore, Patna and so on. If the Cong-I fails to revitalize itself and its economic reforms continue to pile up problems for the weaker sections, the party could be in for a major rout in the Lok Sabha elections - a hung parliament and with a communal BJP dominating the scene could be the net outcome.
It is in this context the resignation of the Kerala Chief Minister - K. Karunakaran, target of charges of corruption and high-handedness-referred to earlier and the 'voter-friendly' budget of Manmohan Singh acquire significance. It may be recalled here that Prime Minister Rao has all along maintained that the rejection of the Cong-I by the electorate in several states has nothing to do whatsoever with his government's economic policies. Apparently he has realised that economic-policies-as-if-people-do-notmatter could boomerang on him and his party whatever their long-term impact on the nation might be.
And so this time his finance minister announced several new schemes for the rural poor and sharp reduction in the indirect taxes on several items of mass consumption.
One million subsidised houses for the Dalits, Scheduled Tribes and freed bonded labourers, old age pension of Rs. 75 per month, lump-sum survivor benefits to the poorer households on the death of the primary breadwinner, pre- and post-natal care to women, rural social insurance and even a nationwide midday meal scheme are among the carrots dangled before the rural electorate.
Even the middle classes will stand to benefit, what with his increasing the ceiling for eligibility to pay income tax, reduction in tariff on paper, electronic goods, textiles, cosmetics, plastic products, etc. N
However, Singh has reiterated his commitment for reforms by lowering the peak import duty, unveiling measures to open up the insurance sector to the multi-nationals and generally reducing import duty on a variety of items.
The Cong-I dissidents are still lying low, though there are some stirrings here and there. Things could burst into the open in a couple of months. Right now the Cong-I continues to drift aimlessly.
Innocer Jail Br
by T.N. Gopalar
Seven LTTE detain south Indian base group escaped fron tral Prison on the 27, setting off a which innocent II fugees and inmates the state have com the hands of the go Nadu.
While it is inde that the anti-AI. should seek to cap like that, it is puzz cadres or whoever them should carry action time and thought as to the f they do.
To go back to t itself, six persons a Tongonova, an I November 1991, a allegedly involved submersible boat 1993, another fr« Viduthalai Padai a local Tamil involve incident, were the
Incidentally all tl been detained un and Anti-Disrupti vention) Act (TAD,
Their modus ope by the jail authoriti simple.
They were suppo some bedsheets tog hook which dug i compound wall an sheet chain was . they scaled the eig pound wall and jum side to safety.
Evidently there between the deter thorities at some has been made mu tion in order to ir personnel had do instance of the st self, which, in tu struck a deal with
Thereafter a ma launched and two
CreW Were re-are day near a Lanl camp, 50 km from member bit into a
TAMIL TIMES 25
L NADU NEWSLETTER
its Victimised Following eak by LTTE Suspects
ees and two from a Tamil extremist the Madras Cennight of February chain reaction in ankan Tamil reof all the prisons in e to suffer badly in vernment of Tamil
ed understandable ADMK opposition italise on an event ling that the Tiger is connected with out their plan of again with little all-out of whatever
he daring venture arrested from M.V. TTE trawler, in another an Indian
in making of a for the LTTE in om the Tamizhar ind another, also a d in a gun-running ones to escape. he nine of them had der the Terrorists ye Activities (PreA).
randi, as described es, was ridiculously
sed to have hitched ether, improvised a nto the top of the to which the bedattached and then ht metre high comped down the other
as been a collusion us and prison auevel or other. This :h of by the opposisinuate the prison he so only at the te government it'n, they said, had the LTTE.
isive manhunt was of the Tongonova sted the very next an Tamil refugee he city and a third cyanide capsule at
the time of arrest and died.
Within a couple of days the body of the 'submarine expert' was supposed to have been found floating on the Cooum river behind the Central Prison. The other five are still at large.
The press is having a field day, churning out wild speculations including the storming of another jail, this one wherein the accused in the Rajiv assassination case are detained, by those who had escaped besides of course more assassinations of antiLTTE politicians. The latter, for their part, are charging that the Chief Minister Jayalalitha is simply intimidating the centre - "by arranging such escapes, she is only warning the centre that she too could hit back if it had any dirty designs over her government...'.
In this maelstrom of such accusations and counter-accusations, no one has stopped for a moment to take into account the fact that seven of the ecapees had been serving time for over four years now, with no verdict in sight since their trial proceedings are agonisingly slow. Especially the Tongonova crew should have been wondering what crime they had been guilty of - their boat had been apprehended off the Indian boundaries. When detained under the TADA, one does not have a chance of being released on bail, except rarely. That kind of a situation should be highly frustrating to youngsters and drive them to acts of desperation.
Secondly whether all of them were active members of the LTTE is still a moot point. Organisations like the Thamizhar Viduthalai Padai mysteriously come up and dies down as required by the Tamil Nadu police and could well be their own brain-child.
This correspondent has visited the central prison and has had occasions to interact with the TADA detenus of different kinds and can assert that many of them are victims of a witchhunting regime.
It is also a fact that they used to enjoy a relative freedom of movement, definitely freer inside the premises than the other undertrials or convicts. In the absence of such a safety valve one would have seen more desperate acts than what happened on February 28.
Continued on page 26
26 TAMIL TIMES
Continued from page 25
In a rear-guard action, the state government came down heavily on all the inmates of all the prisons in the state, imposing all kinds of restrictions on their movements, interactions with the visitors and so on.
Easily the most brutal reaction was the merciless attack on the other inmates of the Madras Central Prison following the escape - as many as 87 of them sustained injuries in the process. A judge of the Designated Court (enquiring into the TADA cases) who visited the Central Prison, following a directive from the High Court on a prayer from the People's Union for Civil Liberties, said some of the prisoners were not willing to disclose the injuries sustained by them due to fear of repression by the jail authorities.
Most of the injured had linear or extensive contusions on several parts of the body, lathi or rod marks, multiple abrasions, bruises and many had complained of head and abdominal pain', reported the judge. Such was the extent of the brutality that the High Court at Madras, which has generally tended to remain stoic towards all kinds of administrative and police excesses in the name of security and integrity of the state, was constrained to openly say that it was "disturbed' over the turn of events and it also granted interim bail to some of the more seriously injured.
Inmates of prisons all over the state have been repeatedly protesting the almost inhuman restrictions placed on their movements, contrivances to prevent them meeting face to face visitors, and so on but to no avail thus far.
Neither the courts nor the politicians nor yet the media are suitably impressed. What matters to them is only that Tigers have escaped, as had a few others in the past - so they are all vying with each other to whip up a hysteria over the issue.
They are all so carried away by their rage, real or put on, that even the instances of escape of some refugees from the special camps are being connected with the Tigers.
As an upshot of it all evermore severe restrictions have been placed on the movements of the inmates of the refugee camps and the relocation of those detained in the special camps have been given up for now.
It may be recalled here that the special camps were set up back in 1990 by the then Karunanidhi regime as part of its efforts to prove its "patriotic bonafides and ward off dismissal by the Chandrashekhar regime in the centre and that though the special camps were supposed to accommodate
only militant grou lies, any number had been detained to make the numb
Things became v assassination and themselves in the the Jayalalitha reg
The special cam prisons, conditions degrading in them. nuous efforts of s organisations, the Rights Organisatio special camps in directed that nonrelocated in the nor
Very reluctantly about the process, sons from the Vel from Chengalpattu remain in the forr latter - and a few o of other smaller ca They have been re mal camps though forced to opt for r earliest.
Anyway the proc abrupt halt, eviden changed situation even in the norma. trictions have beer movement of the r Mr. S.C. Chandral
Continued from pa
power in 1977 on
enacted in 1978 th tion, introducing Executive Presider the powers of the P. whelmingly excess The first Presiden abouthis powers op could under the ve: thing, except chal citizen. He even int former US Preside as the 193rd Head o to the first Sinha portrayed the demo to be a '5-Star De government to be l the principles of dha cratic and authori cluding the violation of his and successiv now well known. T that prevailed then democracy, prevent open dissent agair economic crimes of positions by citizens vidually or collectiv of the elected ruler, underlying principle ignored, the conse were the widesprea
15 APRIL 1995
ps and their famiinnocent refugees n those camps, just r look impressive. orse after the Rajiv more people found pecial camps under ime. ps are nothing but being even more Following the streme human rights National Human visited a couple of )ecember last and hilitant detenus be malrefugee camps.
he government set releasing 200 perlore camp and 25 camp - 200 more mer and 75 in the hers from a couple imps in the state. ocated in the northey are all being epatriation at the
ess has come to an tly because of the in the state. Also camps more resimposed on the efugees. Observes nasan, heading a
leading refugee organisation "I would not like to comment upon the Tiger activities in the island in the course of the struggle. But I wish they desist from doing anything on this soil which makes the life of the innocent refugees evermore difficult. . . .
Meanwhile more than 8,000 refugees are being repatriated to the island in the current phase, leaving around 55,000 persons in the camps. Around 900 persons, most of them belonging to the EPRLF, and put up in a special camp near Madras, are pressing for immediate repatriation.
In other developments Pattali Makkal Katchi founder Dr. Ramdas and some other leaders of the party were brutally lathicharged when they attempted to take out a procession protesting the TADA Act, provoking stoning and burning of buses in some parts of northern districts of the state.
A DMC meeting addressed by former Minister Nanjil K. Manoharan was disrupted by some AIADMK thugs in Bodi in southern Tamil Nadu. Chief Minister Jayalalitha has defended both the actions, saying that victims had invited such attacks on their heads through their provocative speeches or defying prohibitory orders as the case may be.
Protests over the incidents are snowballing.
these principles. It e current constitufor the first time tial rule in which resident were overive and supreme. t, in fact, boasted enly saying that he sted power do anynge the sex of a roduced himself to nt Ronald Reagan f State dating back ese Monarch. He cracy in Sri Lanka mocracy’ and the nique adhering to rma. The undemoarian actions, inis of human rights, e governments are he fear of reprisal under Sri Lankan ed effectively any st the social and those in powerful acting either indisly. Accountability : to the people, an
of democracy was uences of which d misuse of public
funds and corruption that permeated all levels of governments. The political system that prevailed in the recent past in Sri Lanka can be succinctly stated as pseudo-democracy.
(To be continued).
Continued from page 7
until April 19 for the government to respond. In so doing, the LTTE leader welcomed the positive decisions made by the President with regard to lifting of the economic embargo including fuel and restrictions on fishing. Raising the issue of the army camp at Pooneryn and “the question of freedom of mobility of our armed cadre in the Eastern province', the LTTE leader's letter stated that “the resolution of these issues is of crucial importance for the stabilisation of conditions of peace, for the restoration of normalcy and for the promotion of peace negotiations'. He also suggested 1 April as the date for the fourth round of talks.
In subsequent correspondence between the parties, it was agreed that the fourth round of talks would take place on 10 April. These talks and the consequent decisions taken by President Kumaratunga would appear to have brought the peace process back on track.
15 APRIL 1995
Spectres of Fundamen in the Sub-Continent
HINDU, HINDI,INDIA (in Tamil) by S.V. Rajadurai, Manivasagar Press, Madras, India. 1993 : Reviewed by: N. Shanmugaratnam.
"What common need did these outstanding thinkers have that uvas at the same time not felt by ordinary people, even of their own class? They all belonged to the leisure class of what, for lack of a better term, may be called Hindus.' — Kosambi (1962) on the influence of the Bhagavad Gita on Gandhi, Tilak and other leading political and spiritual figures.
South Asia is home for many cultures and civilisations. British colonialism unified a vast territory of pre-colonial India under a centralised colonial Indian state for its own imperial purposes of subjugation and exploitation. But its mission had an unconscious side. For colonialism also created the conditions for the birth and growth of modern nationalism in the periphery. In the early phases of the struggle for independence, Indian nationalism appeared to be a unifying ideology across religious divides, particularly the divide between Hindus and Muslims. However, with time the Hindu-Muslim division developed into a conflict which led to the bloody partitioning of India to create an Islamic Pakistan in 1947 on the eve of independence. Later in 1970, East Pakistan seceded to become Bangladesh. The rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the subcontinent in recent years is well known to the outside world. But, in December 1992, many in the West were aghast at the destruction of a 16th century mosque in Ayodhya in North India by Hindu militants, with the acquiescence of the Indian police, and at the anti-Muslim violence that ensued. It was neither meditation nor a dance of "Hare Krishna' with which many a westerner associated Hinduism. It was Hindu fundamentalism in its most barbaric form. Not to be outdone by the Hindu hoodlums, Mushim fanatics reacted violently in Pakistan and Bangladesh by attacking Hindu temples and families.
The Hindu fundamentalists had their own reason to choose the mosque at Ayodhya as their target. Ayodhya is the birth place of the warrior hero Ram of Ramanayana, the ancient Hindu epic. In their quest for a militant symbol, the Hindu fundamentalists have chosen Ram who was born in the warrior Ksaitrya caste as "the Hindu
god". A dancing Si faced, pot-bellied or a romantic flut lectually bright K origin, would not f ist bill. After mak they invented the place was exactly stood. They succ many people be Ayodhya is their a Vatican. The Hinc who are for a Ral Ram) in India, clai of the Indian her Even though ther ty has distanced i damentalists, its o secularism continu by critics.
The book unde Rajadurai, a Marx the South Indians deals with the la political setting in damentalism ope purpose in writing powerful title Hind expose the comple: commonly rega nationalism.
India, argues S first imagined as English educated upper caste intel played leading rc Congress, and ther by the Brahmin-B; a politico-geograp. herited from Briti imagining of the ' enabled by Brahn vided a unifyingido divides among th economic power o capitalists who car Bania caste to whic With this thesis analysis to defend lenges the secula ruling Congress P. government. The cerns him is not rejecting the geogr India set by the col the political, econc contents of the wh as it has been sh decades by the rul per classes and ca timely and import ongoing debates
TAMIL TIMES 27
va, or an elephant'et affable Gamesh, 2-playing yet intelrishna of low caste it the fundamentaling Ram their god, myth that his birth where the mosque ‘eeded in making lieve the story. nswer to Mecca and lu fundamentalists, m Raj (Kingdom of m that the essence itage is Hindutva. ling Congress Partself from the funwn commitment to es to be questioned
r review by S.V. ist intellectual from tate of Tamil Nadu, rger historical and which Hindu funrates. Rajadurai's the book with the du-Hindi-lndia is to x nature of what is rded as Indian
.V. Rajadurai, was
a "nation' by the Brahmin and other lectual elite, who les in the Indian made into a reality ania alliance within hic framework insh colonialism. The Indian nation' was minism, which proeology across ethnic e Hindus, and the f the domestic big me mostly from the sh Gandhi belonged. and a painstaking
it, Rajadurai chalrist claims of the arty and the Indian question that conone of accepting of aphic framework of onialists but that of mic and ideological ole concept of India aped over the past ing coalition of upstes. The book is a ant contribution to
in India on the
national question, secularism and the future of India as a multinational country.
The author traces the influence of the Hindu fundamentalist movement, which has a history of seven decades, on the great official project of creating a pan-Indian consciousness. He assesses the ideological positions and practices of several key leaders of the Indian Congress such as Gandhi, Nehru, Golwalker and Tilak, and provides a comparative evaluation of Gandhi and Ambedkhar. He exposes the casteism of the Congress establishment while occasionally attacking the main Communist Parties of India for their lack of deep interest in the problems of depresed castes and tribal peoples. All these are undertaken as integral parts of the book's main analytical project of showing the politically engineered evolution of an organic trinity called 'Hindu-Hindi-India'. Indeed, Rajadurai compares this trinity to a trident which, in the hands of the Indian ruling classes, serves the exploitation of labouring people and the oppression of the Dalits (depressed castes) and women.
Reviewing the etymology of India', Rajadurai points out that the word originated from Indus, the term coined and used by the Greeks to refer to the plains of Sindh. It was subsequently borrowed by the Arabs who referred to the region as India and its non-Islamic inhabitants as Hindus. Thus the words India and Hindu are not of Indian' origin. With the occupation of parts of India by different colonial powers at different times there came into being Dutch, French and British Indias. In the British days, the vast territory was divided into British India and Princely States. In 1947, came the violent partitioning of India and the birth of Pakistan. It was after independence that the remaining erstwhile British India and the Princely States were amalgamated to form the Indian union. So, the Indian union is still a young republic which was established in a region with some of the oldest civilisations in the world. It is a union of about 900 million people speaking hundreds (more than 1500) of languages and dialects and belonging to several religions and sects including Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity, Sikhism and animism.
Rajadurai goes into the history of the Union versus Federation' debate and points out that the Indian big bourgeoisie were always opposed to
Continued on page 28
28 TAMIL TIMES
Continued from page 27
the creation of linguistic states and a federation based on them. They backed the idea of a centralised India so that they could have free access to an enormous home market and its resources. They had, of course, recognised long ago the hegemonist potentials of Brahminism as an ideology to cement a Hindu unity across languages, castes, customs and territories and build a pan-Indian consciousness long before the Indian independence movement and the birth of the Union. As the highest and the learned priestly caste in a "god-ordained world they enjoyed a "natural intellectual hegemony over the other castes as they were the mediators between people and god, and they spoke to god in god's own language, Sanskrit. As an ideological enterprise Brahminism has been dynamic and cunning enough to adopt some of the key values of world views like Buddhism and Jainism that challenged its fundamentals and hegemony; for instance it internalised the Buddhist (and Jainist) precepts of ahimsa (non-violence) and abstinence from consumption of meat and other non-vegetables. Historically, in the Indian cultural context, recognition and blessing by the priestly caste were indispensable for a king to legitimise his rule over his subjects. The traditional pan-Indian consciousness and high status of the Brahmins placed them in a unique position to become the ideologues of Indian nationalism in the British period. This transition was made possible by the spread of English education, print capitalism and modern political institutions, and, of course, by the existence of a centralised colonial Indian state. The bilingual (English & the native tongue) Brahminist intellectuals created the concept of the Indian nation by combining traditional religious and other social symbols and values with the ideas of a free India and Bharat.
Even Nehru, who was in favour of linguistic states and federation during the independence struggle, sided with the big capitalists in 1947 for a more centalised Union. The support base for the Union came from the Hindi-belt which covered the major part of North India. However, it was not Hindi but Hindustani - which is a mixture of Hindi and Urdu - that was preferred by Gandhi as the state language as he believed that it signified the unity of Hindi-speaking Hindus and Urduspeaking Muslims. Even Gandhi could not accept the idea that there could be more than one state language for the whole of India. The Hindu nationalists who dominated the Congress were able to sideline Gandhi’s proposition.
They stood for a Sanskritised Hind guage of all India For them Sanskr golden era of Hind all, though it died krit is the languag ancient classics. Til Hindi meant its E the devaluation ar dustani and other the reinforcement hegemony of B already “holy” hege sanctity when Sa nised as a languag living Indian lang try's Constitution. It emerges from sis that the dem state for Muslims ( tion to the risi Brahminism, tine i nationalism and t the Hindu capita damentalist move some Islamic fur were widespread i munity, there is no businessmen provi port and other for any Islamic movem By this time, Musli begun to feel that mic prospects were were circumscribec tical power of the They formed the M Commerce in 193 Muslim business actively support til However, as obse) the Hindu big bu also in favour of p create the Pakista Muslim League h Birla, the leading was openly suppo saying that it wa avoid continuous about with the bus the Indian econom that all the Mus] Congress were fo was untrue as an Moulana Azaad (w stood firmly for a fought for it.
The partition di India without Mu mean the end of flicts or of Hindu ni Today, there are India than in Paki between India and ways been tense an have gone to war occasion. Within damentalism has b by pointing at the
a more thoroughly i as the official lanand had their way. it represented the lu civilisation. After centuries ago, Sansge of the vedas and he sanskritisation of Brahminisation and nd exclusion of Hinlanguages. It meant of the ideological rahminism. The 2mony gained extra anskrit was recoge along with several uages by the coun
the author's analyand for a separate originated as a reacing hegemony of ntolerance of Hindu he open support of alists to the funment. Even though hdamentalist ideas n the Muslim comevidence of Muslim iding financial supms of patronage to ent until the 1930s. m businessmen had their future econonot bright as they d by the rising poliHindu capitalists. Muslim Chamber of 32 and after 1939
groups began to he Muslim League. rved by Rajadurai, siness groups were artitioning India to n demanded by the headed by Jinnah. Hindu industrialist rting the division s the only way to bloodshed and go siness of developing hy. He also argued lim leaders in the r Pakistan, which eminent leader like who was a Muslim) united India and
d not result in an uslims. Nor did it Hindu-Muslim conationalism in India.
more Muslims in stan. The relations
Pakistan have ald the two countries on more than one India, Hindu funeen gaining ground
15 APRIL 1995
and at the rising tide of Islamic fundamentalism everywhere including India. The phenomenal rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party in North India in the late 1980s and the demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya by Hindu militants showed that Hindu fundamentalism has become more organised and powerful in postIndependence India even though it has been declared a secular state by the constitution.
Rajadurai makes the point that the institutionalisation of the HinduHindi-India' ideology has continuously been resisted by several ethnic groups within the Union as it threatens their aspirations for nationhood; for example the Nagas, Sikhs, Assamese, Manipurians, and Tamils. It has been resisted by millions of Dalits (depressed castes) and tribals who have been condemned to be underdogs by Hinduism and its social order. The book presents an excellent critical assessement of Ambedkhar who is regarded as the Abraham Lincoln of India's Dalits who were named Harijans (children of god) by Gandhi. Ambedkhar, a brilliant thinker devoted his life to the political and social upliftment of the Dalits. Ambedkhar was actively involved in the freedom struggle along with Gandhi, Nehru and others but had the interests of the Dalits above all others in his heart. He rejected Hinduism and finally chose Buddhism, although he found Marx's theory' of class and critique of capitalism appealing, as he did not believe in a violent path to socialism. It has been pointed out by Gore (1993) that Ambedkhar's world view was based on the liberal values of individual freedom, social equality and fraternity. Ambedkhar's critique of the Hindu as a person without a conscience appears to be rooted in his libertarian philosophical beliefs buttressed by a class analysis. He regarded the Hindu social practice as utterly reprehensible as it was a 'class ethics’ that deprived moral life of freedom and spontaneity and individual conscience. He was disillusioned with the Gandhian approach to the caste problem. Gandhi never rejected the vedic hierarchy of society into four varunas Brahmin, Ksaitrya, Vaisya and Sudra. He sought harmony within the traditional order by fighting to eliminate untouchability, whereas Ambedkhar stood for an end to the ancient casteist order and for genuine democratisation. On many occasions, Ambedkhar attacked Gandhi's double role as Mahatma and politician. To quote one of Ambedkhar's caustic remarks:
Continued on page 33
15 APRIL 1995
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| - Tami Times Ltd. PO Box 121.
Sutton, Surrey SM13TD
Phone: 0181-644 0972 Fax: 0181-2414557.
Jaffna Hindu brothers and sisters, British citizens, seek suitable groom for Sister, 32, fair, employed in computing in Colombo. Send horoscope, details. M 779 C/o Tanni Tinnes.
Hindu family seeks female partner for qualified accountant, 40, innocent divorcee, UK permanent resident. Send recent photograph, horoscope. M 781 C/o Tamil Times.
Jaffna Hindu brother seeks partner for attractive sister holding office job in London, 34, 5'2". Replies treated confidentially. Send full details. M 782 C/o Tamil Times.
Brother, Finance controller, seeks partner for talented sister, 43, employed in Colombo. Jaffna Hindu vegetarian preferred. Contact in confidence, S.K. Thiru, CDl Group, 7/2 Skeleton Road, Colombo 5. Tel: 502126.
Divorced Hindu Tamil, in permanent professional employment in UK seeks suitable bride up to 36 years. No enCumbrances. Send details and horoscope. M 784 c/o Tamil Times.
Jaffna Hindu parents seek groom in employment for pretty graduate daughter, 29, in employment in London. M 785 c/o
Jaffna Hindu parents seek educated bride for son, 26, electronic engineer in employment in London, British citizen. Send horoscope, details. M786 C/O Tamil Times.
Jaffna Hindu parents seek bride for their son, 28, hotel manager, prestigious hotel, Sun City, South Africa. M 787 C/o Tamil Times. Jaffna Hindu sister seeks bride, age 25 to 30, for brother, systems analyst in Australia. Send horoscope, details. M 788 C/o Tamil Times. Jaffna Hindu parents seek educated, fair bride for son, 29, senior computer analyst, British citizen. Send horoscope, details. M 789 C/o Tamil Times.
We congratulate the following couples on their recent uvedding. Mohanraj son of Mr. & Mrs. M. Krishnamoorthy of 28 Vimiera Road, Eastwood NSW 2122, Australia and Sashi Cala daughter of Mr. & Mrs. T. Sivasubramaniam of 19 Anderson Road, Northmead NSW 21:52, Australia on 25.3.95 at Our Lady of Lebanon Hall, Alice Street, Sydney, Australia.
Aravindhan son of the late Mr. S. Nadarajah and Mrs. L. Nadarajah of 75 Endsleigh Court, Lexden, Colchester, U.K. and Sri Ranjini daughter of Dr. & Dr. (Mrs.) S. Suntharalingam of 17 Ashdown Drive, Wordsley, Stourbridge, West Midlands, U.K. On 25.3.95 at Lakhamshi Virpal Hall, Coopers lane Road, Northaw, U.K. Sanjayen son of Mr. & Mrs. S.P Rajanathan of 1580 Sandhurst Circle, Apt. 1512, Scarborough, Ontario Mi V2L3, Canada and Revathy daughter of the late Mr. Mahesan and Mrs. K. Mahesan on 2.4.95 at Malvern Community Centre, ScarborOugh, Canada. Visakhan Son of Dr. & Mrs. Sanmuganathan of 146/24 Havelock Road, Colombo 5 and Kosala daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Kandasamy of 34 Hamer's Avenue, Colombo 6 on 12.4.95 at Miami Hotel, Colombo 6.
Subramaniam Cheliah, beloved husband of Loheswari, father of Lohendran and Nir
malendran, father-in-law of Priyadharshani and Anna and grandfather of Danusha, Athisa, Rishan, Philippe and Rohaan passed away peacefully after a long illness on 21.3.95.
He also leaves behind a brother Ponniah (Toronto); sisters Saraswathy, Maheswary, Pan
charathneswary (Tellippalai, Sri Lanka), Rajeswary (UK), brothers-in-law Rajathurai, Dr.
Raj Chandran (UK); sisters-inlaw Mrs. Maheswari Cookathasan (UK), Mrs. Rajeswari Pulendra (Vathiry, Sri Lanka) and Mrs. Buaneswari Thurairatnam (UK) and all their families. The members of the family thank all friends and relations in UK and abroad, who sent messages of sympathy and helped in numerous ways and participated in the funeral rites on 25.3.95. - 11 Brent Park Road, LOndon NVV4 3HN. Tel 0181 2O29O.35
Pandit Ambalavanar Ponnudurai (83), Retired Principal of Velanai, beloved husband of Nagarathinam, retired teacher, loving brother of late Mangaiyatkarasi Sellapah and Sinnarasa (Madras); loving father of Nageswary (Colombo), Kalyanasundram (Jaffna), Kamaladevi (Colombo), Prof. Balasundrampillai (University of Jaffna), Dr. Vimalendran, Balendran, Vimaladevi (all of Canada), Yogendran, Raveendran, Puvanendran (all of UK), Nirmaladevi (Canada) and late Vathsaladevi, father-in-law of Thirunavukkarasu, Parameswary, Tharmalingam, Rajaluxmi, Mangaiyatkarasi, Umakanthi, Vijayakumar, Vanaja, Anushiya, Ranjinidevi and Logaraj; grandfather of Niji, Vithya, Sathabhanu, Janagan, Jeyanthi, Muraleetharan, Janarthan, Suthakaran, Senthuran, Ganeshavarathan, Chanjithkumar, Gajendrakumar, Arthee, Vamanan, Anabbayan, Anchala, Hariharan and Arjun passed a Way in Jaffna on 202.95 and was cremated on 22nd February. The members of the family thank all friends and relatives who sent messages of sympathy and con
15 APRIL 1995
doled with then at this time of great sorrow. - 37 Burnham Road, Dartford DA1 5A Y. Tel: O132228O 685.
in everloving memory of Mr. Velupillai Nadarajah, formerly Director, Ceylon School of SoCial Work, Son of the late Mr. & Mrs. Velupillai of Chetty Street, Nallur, Sri Lanka, son-in-law of the late Mr. K. Muthulingam and Mrs. Muthulingam of Tellipalai, Sri Lanka, on the fourth anniversary of his passing away on 4.4.91.
Sadly missed and fondly remembered by his beloved wife Muthu Ambikai; daughter Dr. Sakunthala; son Dr. Ravindran; SOn - in - la My Dr. Su resh Thayalan; daughter-in-law o Meera; grand children Arjun, Nisha and Sathya — 1 1 Baronia Croft, Highwoods, Colchester, Essex CO453F
Mrs. Rasaratnam Sabapath
BO 16. 1 1 1919 Died: 2O.O3. 1994 Sadly missed and fondly rene mbered on the first anniversary of the passing a way, by her daughters Nalayini, Vinothini, Malini, Premala, Kanageswary and Raji; her sons-in-law Rajan Sriskandarajah, Sarath Amarasekara, Sarva Sweran, Mathi Chandrakumar and Bobby Kanagadevan, her grandchildren Shamila, Shanika, Saiyanthan, Tharaka, Yalini, Arani, Roshini and Annuthan. - 49 Orchard Drive, Watford, Herts. WD1 3DX.
15 APRIL 1995
in loving memory of Mr. Rajasingham Mahadeva on the twelfth anniversary of his passing away on 11.3.83.
Greatly loved, deeply missed
and always remembered by his beloved wife Kanagalakshmi; children Bobby, Kumudhini, Jayanthi and Nalini and his numerous relatives and friends.
- 69 Streatfield Road, Harrow,
Middx. HA39BP. Tel 0181907 6836.
in cherished memory of Chinnathampy Rasiah on the first anniversary of his passing away от 24.4.94. How little we knew that morning The sorrow that day would bring The Call was sudden, the shock Severe To part with the one we loved so dear.
Greatly loved, deeply missed and always remembered by his sorrowing wife Gunamany, sister Arianayagam, beloved chill
dren Dr. Rajan and Rajini, loving daughter-in-law Janaki, son-in-law Lakshman, grandchildren Thabojan, Prashanth and Sulakshan, sisters-in-law, nephews and nieces. - 14 Greenbriar Avenue, Wheelers Hill, Vic.3150 Melbourne, Australia / 3818 Campolindo Drive, Moraga 94556, California, U. S.-A.
May 1 Feast of St. Joseph. May 2 Feast of St. AnthanaSiuS. May 3 Feast of Sts. Philip & James; Sathurththi. May 6 J.S.S.A. 7-A-Side Football Competition, 17 O.S.A.s taking part at Warren Farm Sports Centre, Windmill Lane, Southall, Middx. Tel: O181 399 7848/743 8289/24f 5881. May 11 Eekathasi.
May 12 Pirathosam. May 136.30pm Tamil Orphans' Trust presents Violin Duet by Ganesh and Kumaresh from India at Acton Town Hall, High Street, London W3. Tel: 0181 908 3540/575 6478. May 13 7.30pm Castis/Sri Lanka-UK Friendship Society presents Ceilidh Dance in aid of Tamil Orphans of Sri Lanka at St. Edward's Paris Hall, Thurloe Street, Rushholme, ManChester. Tel: 0161 224 5019/ 86O4609.
May 14 Full Moon. May 14 1.00pm S.C.O.T. Tamil New Year Lunch & Raffle at Wandsworth Town Hall, Civic Suite, Wandsworth High Street, London SM/18 2PU. Tel: 0181 904 6472.
May 18 Sathurththi. May 20 Feast of St. Bernadine of Siene. May 20 6.30pm MIOT Annual Muthamil Vizha at Kelsey Park
Sabaratnam Nanthakumar - An Appreciation
The Thamil community of Western Canada and particularly British Columbians were deeply shocked by the untimely death of Mr. Nanthakumar after a brief illness on January 4th 1995. He was 48.
Mr. Nanthakumar was born in Jaffna, and had his early education at Jaffna Central College and at Stanley College. He was one of the pioneer students under the guidance of the Late Mr. Pathmanapan at Stanley. He completed his Chartered Accountancy in Colombo and began his career at the Eastern Paper Mills Corporation in 1971 and worked at the head office in Colombo from '78 to 82. Later he moved to Zambia with his family and worked till '88 before migrating to Canada.
After a few years a of a leading hotelo in Central Canada to establish new de
Mr. Nanthakum, Nantha or Kuna gentleman and ma ever he was. He guide to several w Lanka. Nantha wa in the religious and Thamil Communiti Winnipeg, capital itoba he was the CC Hindu Society of M of the board of d Cultural Associatic couver, British Col member of the Sai
TAMIL TIMES 31
Saint Thiyagarajah Day Celebrations
Lalgudi School of Music celebrated Saint Thiyagarajah Day on 11.3.95 at The Great Hall of Kingsbury High School.
The main item of the day was the presentation on the violin by five groups of students classified according to ability and each group presented an ensemble. It was well organised to bring out the talent of those who took part. In between the ensembles were presented recitals of vocal music, flute and Veena. Solo Violin recitals by Arvind Jayan and Kumar Ragunathan stole the hearts of the audience with their excellent rendering. They have a bright future ahead of then.
The youngsters who provided mridangam support to all the events deserve praise. Presentation of Pancharatna Krithi on the violin by Dr. Lakshimi Jayan and her senior students crowned the evening's events.
Dr. S. Navaratnam, who was the Chief Guest gave a short speech which was well received by the audience. Dr. Lakshimi Jayan deserves to be congratulated for having done so well to inspire her students to attain a high standard of achievement. My greetings are due to Lalgudi School of Music.
School, Manor Road, Beckenham, Kent. Tel: 0 1 634 376517/O181 460 5235. May 25 Eekathasi; Feast of the Ascension of Lord Jesus.
At the Bhawan Centre, 4A
Castletown Road, London
W149HO. Te:O171-3813086/ 4608.
May 7 6.30pm Violin duet by
May 26 Pirathosam, Feast of St. Philip Neri.
May 27 Feast of St. Augustine of Canterbury.
May 29 Amavasai. May 30 Feast of St. Ferdinand.
May 31 Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Ganesh & Kumaresh from India. May 14 6.30pm Veena by Geetha Bennett. May 20 7.00pm Sitar by Guarava Majumader. May 29 6.30pm Santoor by Satish Vyas.
s the financial Controller rganisation in Winnipeg he moved to Vancouver velopments of the busi
ar popularly known as r was a soft spoken de many friends where was a Counselor and a ho had moved from Sri s passionately involved Cultural activities of the es. During his stay in of the province of Manmmittee member of the fanitoba and a member irectors of The Thamil in of Manitoba. ln VanImbia he was an active hya Sai Centre and one
of the founder members of the Thamil Cultural Society of B.C. which was inaugurated in 1994.
Friends, colleagues, members of the different organisations salute Nantha for the services he had rendered unreservedly to others. The Thamil Community in B.C. will miss him but he had shown how humbly one can serve the community. For those who had been closely associated with him, it is indeed a privilege to have been in his company.
His funeral according to Hindu rites took place on January 8th at the Richmond funeral home amidst a large gathering of friends, family, colleagues and the members of the Thamil Community.
He leaves behind his beloved wife Dr.
Continued on page 32
32 TAMIL TIMES
Continued from page 31
Selvi Nanthakumar, daughters Shivaramya, Arathi, mother Mrs. G. Sabaratnam (U.K.), mother-in-law Mrs. S. Sabaratnam (B. C.); brothers Dr. Arulkumar (Singapore), Ratnakumar (Toronto), Gnanakumar (Calgary), Srikumar (U.K.) and their families.
May he rest in peace.
C.T.P. Rajarajeswari Temple in Stoneleigh, Surrey
The consecration ceremony of a new Rajarajeswari Amman temple in Stoneleigh, Epsom, Surrey, UK took place on 5th April 1995 in the presence of a large gathering of devotees. The Temple is 2 minutes walking distance from the Stoneleigh Broadway B. R. Station. The main deity is Rajarajeswary with Vinayagar and Thiruchenthur Murugan on either side. The chief priest hails from Thiruvannamalai in South India.
The daily poojah times are 8.30am to 1.OOpm and 6 to 9pm. The Sanga Abhisekham will take place on 21st May 1995 commencing at 9am. The address of the Temple is Dell Lane, off Dell Road, Stoneleigh, Epsom, Surrey and the telephone number is 0181 3938147.
International Bharatha Natyam Contest
The New York Tamil Sangam is sponsoring a Bhartha Natyam Contest to be held on 9th September 1995 at 4.00pm in New Brunswick High School Auditorium, New
Carnatic Artistes Shine in Music Festival
An "Eye on Shiva' Promotion presented a festival of carnatic music featuring artistes living in London titled Joy of South" on 4th March 1995 at the Studio Theatre Union Chapel, Compton Avenue, islington, London N1. The promoters should be congratulated on having prevailed on some of the leading artistes in the U.K. to take part in this festival. The performance was copromoted by the London Borough of Islington Arts and Heritage and funded by London Arts Board. The audience was predominantly non-Asian and the hall was packed to capacity.
The first item was a flute recital by K. Jananayagam, who had started his musical training in 1952 with Tanjore Brahma Sri Mani Iyer and later from Maharajapuram Santhanam. He had recently performed at the World Music Festival in Holland. The next item was a vocal recital by Manorama Prasad. Manorama had trained in India under various Gurus
Jersey, U.S.A. The the Balasaraswati plaque. The first S500 and the sec Other finalists will prizes.
The contest is ope between 16 and , residing outside in pleted Arangetram equivalent; only in eligible, compositior and danced solo for notexceeding 10 mir
Those interested tact the Director of Kabaliswaran, 137 North Brunswick, NJ 908 940 O586 to re form and other detai
The Saiva Munnetta
has been on the lo premises to Cater t community has acqu Salisbury Road, Man 6AB. The building cc which includes a larg floor which could be aCCommodate aroun, total floor area is Square feet. It has £120,000 and immed are estinated to CO, £50,000. The memb have already commi £10,000 of this amour supporters and well w Occasion and Contr
from the age of 5 an study in 1989 under and Sri R.K. Padman
The final item wa Sangeetha Vidw Sahathevan and Ma am both from the Carnatic Music, Mad under the tutelage of SOr K.P. Sivananthan It is noteworthy tha Mohanadas, student performed on the V Stars' section organ promoters on 1st Mal The accompanists f recitals were P. Gna Sormasundra Desikar Skandan - Gangir anathan - Morsing. and Bala Skandan ex ments for the veena ir The entire programı and during the four recitals the audience of the best in Carnatic
15 APRIL 1995
st dancer will receive Ward of $1,000 and a nner-up will receive nd runner-up $300. lso receive awards/
to girls/young ladies 3 years on 99.95, a; must have Cornr Chalankai pujai or n-professionals are are to be in Tamil t least 6 minutes and ites and 30 Seconds. re requested to COnthe contest, Mr. R. Thomas Avenue, 08902, USA. Tel/Fax beive an application
ires Building Sangam (UK) which ok out for suitable the needs of the ired a building at 2 Jr Park, London E12 nsists of two floors, 2 area in the ground
used as a hall to i 500 people. The approximately 8400
been bought for ate essential repairs st in the region of ers of the Sangam tted themselves to it and appeal to their lishers to rise to the ibute the balance
it had completed her rof. S. Ramanathan abha.
a Veena duet by a n s Sivat har in i ini ThanabalasingCentral College of as where they were alai Mamani Profes
14-year-old Thulasi of Sivatharini had ena in the Rising sed by the same
h. r the flute and vocal avaradan - Violin, Miruthangam, Bala
and Sithamparmasundra Desikar hanged their instrucital. 2 was well received ur duration of the as treated to SOme nuSic.
The annual festival of the British Organisation of Persons of Indian Origin will take place in Blackheath in South East London On 24th and 25th June 95. The ainm Of the festival is to promote the culture and fine arts of the people of Indian origin. Artistes who wish to participate in the different fields of South Indian Music and Dance are requested to telephone 0181 248 0691.
CANADAN NEWS LETTER Housing
Yet another Non-Profit housing project has been approved for the Tamil Community in Ontario, making this the third social housing project of the Tamils. The proposed 80 unit apartment style development will be in Scarborough, an area with a high concentration Of Sri Lankans.
This project is named “Eelam Co-op Homes Inc.' and has a seven member board currently headed by an affable person in Sinnathamby Sittampalam 'Sither' as he is popularly called. The other members of the board are: Nadarajah Bhuvanendra, Vairamutu Puvanachandran, Rohini Udayakumar, Perumalpillai Sri Krishner, Rajaretnam Gunanathan and Jeyamany Sri Bhawan.
Rosalind Rajanayagam, a retired teacher and community activist has been appointed a Public Member of the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario for a period of two years beginning in January 1995. Earlier she was associated with the Toronto Department of Public Health in the preparation of a report in 1990, on the Health and Social needs of the Tamil community in Toronto.
Rosalind was very closely associated With the establishment in 1988 Of the first Tamil Co-op housing at Lansdowne. She was president of SACEM for six years and presently serves as a director of the Senior Tamils' Centre of Ontario.
She is a member of the United Church of Canada and is one of those who helped to establish the newly formed Tamil Christian Church of Canada, that Conducts its services in Scarborough.
Rajanayagams are some of the few families who settled in Canada nearly 35 years ago.
Aid to the Needy in Sri Lanka A new organisation called the Canadian Relief Organisation for Peace (CROPS), has shipped in March this year, a container full of Wheel Chairs, Walkers, Crutches, Medicines, Nutrients etc., to Colombo for distribution by the 'Red Cross' to the needy in the North.
Chris Sandrasegara the Secretary of "CROPS' was largely responsible for this praiseworthy effort.
The Senior Tamils' Centre of Ontario that annually donates money for relief work in the North East of Sri Lanka has remitted a sum of $750- to the TRO in London, for relief work in the North East, this year.
15 APRIL 1995
Institute of Tamil Culture - 9th Anniversary Celebrations
The Kingston Institute of Tamil Culture celebrated its 9th Annversary on 8.4.95 at Holy Cross Convent Hall, New Malden, Surrey with a capacity audience which enjoyed the items of Vocal and instrumental Music, Bharatha Natyam and speeches in Tamil by students of the Institute. The Chief Guest was Cllr. Brian Bennet, Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kingston-Upon-Thames. Rt. Hon. Anita Pollack, M.E.P. London South West; Rt. Hon. Richard Tracy, M.P. for Surbiton and Rev. Sister Sheila, Provincial Superior of the Holy Cross Sisters in England graced the occasion as Guests of Honour.
Bharathanatyam Recital in Madras
e Sankarabaranan Trust and Bharatha saanjali presented a Bharathanatyan Tectal by Kumari Uma Rani, Disciple of Dhananjayans and Smit Radhika Suhrajit on 193.95 at Mylapore Fine Arts Club Hall, tadras. Kumari Uma Rani is a daughter of Llr & Mrs. Perampalam of 456 Ivy Wood 3ourt. Madras.
Continued from p.
As a Mahatma spiritualise po has succeeded has certainly c A politician mu cannot bear th that he must II truth; if he is truth it is ba reason why the supporting Ca because he is opposed them in politics. Wh: his confusion th told that he i and also decei preaching Cast Varuna.'' (Cited Rajadurai rightl philosophical and Ambedkhar deser from people and gling for social jus The book conclu "imagining a new pluralist (in the
The Bharatha Naty. Vii, disciple of Gu place at Auditoriun 19.295, Dayalasin Narthanalayam Scl and is a student of and Adyar K. Laksh lt was a rare pt have Mrs. Leela A guest on this speci well attended by lovers residing in Consisted of Voca motheram (London Dharmaraj (Paris), Ramalingam (Paris nayagam (London) Kayalvili is a very with a bright future
TAMIL TIMES 33
he may be trying to litics. Whether he in it or not, politics 'ommercialised him. st know that Society he whole truth and not speak the whole speaking the whole d for politics. The Mahatma is always ste and Varuna is afraid that if he he will lose his place atever the source of ne Mahatma must be s deceiving himself ving the people by e under the name of
in Gore 1993).
y points out that the political writings of ve greater attention movements strugtice in South Asia. udes with a call for India which is truly sense that all the
diferent national, linguistic, religious and territorial groups have the freedom to enjoy and keep their identities), decentralised and socialist as an alternative to the 'Hindu-Hindi-India'. Rajadurai's style is provocative and his arguments are clearly formulated. However one would have liked to see more empirical evidence of the economic power of the Bania caste. Even though his critical support to the struggles of various communities in India for self-determination seems justifiable, the reader would have liked to know more about the key determinants that make such struggles progressive or reactionary. However, these inadequacies do not reduce the value of the book to the Tamil reader who is looking for a radical alternative interpretation of the origins and development of Indian nationalism.
Reference M.S. Gore (1993) The Social Context of an Ideology - Ambedkhar's Political and Social
Thought. Sage Publications, New Delhi.
ya Arangetram Paris
a Arangetram of Kayalru Dayalasingam took ) des Halles, Paris On Jam is the Director of Ool of Dance in Paris Mrs. Leela Arumugiah ዘገገarገaዘገ. ivilege for the Guru to rumugiah as the chief all occasion, which was Tamil and French art Paris. The Orchestra - Mrs. Ambika Tha!, Miridangam — Sri Ravi Violin - Mrs. Komala ), Flute - Sri K. Jana
talented young dancer
Festival of Cricket
- 29th May 1995 Tenders for the Printing of
Souvenir etc. Tenders for the printing of the Festival Souvenir and other F.O.C. matter are invited from those interested. Please ring the Chairman of Publications and Public Relations Sub-Committee, Mr. Jeyanathan Sivagnanadasan on: 0181 423 2202 for tender documents which have to be submitted before a
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34 TAMIL TIMES
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15 APRIL 1995
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