Fresh rustic breezes, whiff of delicacies from the Avurudhu table and nostalgic memories of the time spent in the gama in their salad days would have rejuvenated the patriotic fervor of those Sri Lankan patriots who were breathing fire and thunder before the New Year on protecting the sovereignty, integrity, unity of Sri Lanka.
Four quarrelsome years have passed since the bloody 30-year-war ended but after the end of the war has come not peace but fierce war of words. The nation is as polarized when the bloodletting was on. Many going on the premise that patriotism demands to be on the side of the government during an armed conflict or in a war of words, are solidly behind the Rajapaksa regime while a miniscule opposition is saying that justice has not been done to Tamils despite the settlement of a near 300,000 displaced persons in homes new as well as their own reconstructed, after de-mining etc.
War of words
The debate is mainly confined to the so-called intelligentsia in the English language newspapers – with even the fiercely ‘anti- English’ fire breathing Sinhalese expressing themselves fluently in the foreign tongue. The bêtes noires of the ‘patriots’ are: the TNA, NGOs, Tamil Nadu racists, Uncle Sam and his European cousins, our Big Brother across the Palk Strait (whether we like him or not) and the cash cow of the LTTE, the Tamil Diaspora.
This Diaspora is all-important because they have the terrorist loot and is said to be distributing it quite generously to British politicians and in Tamil Nadu. Students in Tamil Nadu came onto the streets to demonstrate against Sri Lanka quite recently. This is said to be the first time ever that Tamil Nadu students came out en masse for a political demonstration.
The Chief Financial Executive Officer of the terror outfit was KP – Kumaran Pathmananthan, the financial whiz kid and arms procurer – now being held under the tender loving care of the Defence Ministry. KP was quoted in the foreign media saying he knows where the terrorist booty is but there is no news about the booty being found.
Preaching to the convinced
The four-year tongue lashings of the patriotic warriors on these groups have been like barking at the moon (as we said in a previous commentary) and are we to continue with this verbal chants this year too?
If the world powers – US, EU and its allies are singling out Sri Lanka for special punishment it would be idiotic for Little Lanka to flex its muscles and keep roaring like a mouse with only the patriotic warriors chanting in unison.
The only way out is to expedite addressing the grievances of the Tamils not only to take the winds off the sails of our critics but because it is our bounden duty to treat our fellow citizens who are our brothers and sisters – showing no discrimination. The four-year rhetorical exercises have convinced no one other than the orators themselves.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa, contrary to his earlier promises such as enacting the 13th Amendment and even more, is now back pedalling. The thinking appears to be that even holding an election for the Northern Provincial Council could enthuse separatism in the context of the widespread anti-Sri Lankan eruptions in Tamil Nadu.
Military and democracy
Tamils in Jaffna say that the military is still the ruling force there. And despite their strong presence, the Uthayan Newspaper was attacked for a second time in a week and their printing presses set on fire. The owner of the establishment E. Saravanapavan has told the foreign media that the attack could be linked to the military. The military has denied it. This is indeed a tragic situation where a military unwanted by the people are present in their midst while brazen attacks takes place on their newspaper offices.
It is a Catch-22 situation. The government claims it wants to establish democracy in the North but to do that it must retain a permanent presence of the military; if not there will be a movement towards a separate state by terrorists.
It is a similar situation to what an American historian Charles A. Beard called Perpetual Peace for Perpetual War. Gore Vidal the famed American writer backing historian Beard shows that several hundred wars had been launched in the interests of America between the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and the Al Qaeda bombings of September 11, 2001. Says Vidal: Since V-J Day 1945 (‘Victory over Japan’ and the end of World War II) we have been engaged in what historian Charles A Beard called a ‘perpetual war for perpetual peace’.
I have occasionally referred to our ‘enemy of the month club’ each month we are confronted by a new horrendous enemy at whom we must strike before he destroys us. Sri Lanka has only a single perpetual enemy: Separatist Tamil terrorism. But the decisive military defeat has not eliminated the threat. It is coming back in diverse forms as is evident from international developments.
The simple way to do it is by addressing the demands and grievances of the Tamil people rather than spending billions on American lobbyists and Sri Lankan lobbyists in America in the form of taxi drivers.
COURTESY:THE SUNDAY LEADER