Pongu Thamil to attention circus
(By: Lucien Rajakarunanayake)
In the grand days of the LTTE, when the terrorists
were lording over nearly one-third of Sri Lanka, thanks to the Cease
Fire Agreement (CFA) signed by Ranil Wickremesinghe with Velupillai
Prabhakaran, with all blessings of Norway, the focus of LTTE action
abroad was on the 'Pongu Thamil' events to which was a road show on the
need for Tamil liberation in Sri Lanka, with hardly anything said about
how much the Tamils were suffering under the LTTE.
The CFA which was understood at that time by
perceptive Sri Lankans as an act tantamount to treachery, and is
accepted more so today, conferred on the LTTE the powers to tax
(otherwise extort) money from all who traveled to the North,
abduct/kidnap traders for ransom, make unconscionable profits on goods
transported to the North from outside to enrich the coffers of terror,
hold the Muslims and Sinhalese in the northern areas of the East under
severe threat and even forced expulsion, and permi Prabhakaran and his
armed thugs to terrorize the citizens of Sri Lanka in what it claimed to
be its future state of Eelam.
All the brouhaha of Pongu Thamil began to fade away
after the huge blunder by Prabhakaran, praised by apologists for LTTE
terror and separatism, as the best strategist of separatism and terror
the modern world has produced, in closing the Mavil Aru anicut to cut
off water for drinking and livelihoods of more than 15,000 families in
the East in mid 2006, and his later refusal to listen to the President's
ultimatum to stop carrying out attacks on civilians or face the
abrogation of the CFA in January 2007. This made LTTE face the reality
of combat with newly energized, armed and motivated Sri Lankan troops,
who were soon giving the lie to all the claims about the invincibility
of Prabhakaran and the military prowess of his terrorist organization.
With the LTTE on the brink of inevitable defeat, Pongu
Thamil has now turned to 'Attention Rallies'. This is the new catchword
for the supporters of the LTTE's brand of the most ruthless terrorism,
to use the freedoms of democracies in the west, as well as capitalize on
the Nelsonian blindness of the authorities in those countries on open
support for a terrorist organization banned in their own countries, to
carry out public demonstrations, obstruct traffic and the day-to-day
lives of uninterested people, and create a media circus about the plight
of the Tamils in the North of Sri Lanka.
Pongu Thamil celebrations held in Jaffna in 2005
Western journalists, even from the usually perceptive
mainstream media in the West, are rushing to Colombo to get a quick ride
to the No Fire Zone or the IDP camps, impatient at the formalities
required to visit such areas, necessary in view of the very nature of
the enemy that the Sri Lankan State and people have faced for nearly
three decades. They come with deep impressions created by the LTTE's
Attention Getters. No research has been done to find the truth of the
allegations made, and the reality behind all the gory charges of
genocide or the annihilation of Tamils, no documents even from the
United Nations read and studied, and no contact made with sources other
than the so-called Sri Lanka Tamil 'Diaspora' and the publicity seekers
of the attention parades complete with burning tyres and threats of
self-immolation, before setting out for a touch-down and fly away story
in which they are less informed than when they arrived.
The Attention Tigers of the West have no word about
how the LTTE continues to keep several thousand Tamil civilians as its
human shield in an ever shrinking sliver of land, or how those who flee
the hold or terror are fired at and killed and injured.
There is silence on the protests now erupting daily in
the No Fire Zone by Tamils eager to face alleged genocide in the future,
obviously thinking it better than being under the terrorist jackboot of
their so-called liberators.
None of these demonstrators for the liberation of the
Tamils, have shouted one slogan or raised one banner to ask the LTTE to
stop recruiting and using Tamil children.
The Attention Getters, who claim to have embraced
western democracy and are the darlings of alleged human rights watchers,
make no demands on the LTTE to let the civilians it still holds to act
as they wish and please to; that is the right of a Tamil, wherever he or
she lives, which includes the No Fire Zone in Sri Lanka, as much as
among the comforts of London, Toronto, Oslo, Geneva or and other western
cities that are now being used to draw attention away from the LTTE's
impending defeat and the folly of those who continue to make a pretence
of belief in an independent Thamil Eelam.
That the LTTE's current of impending defeat would
figure in the current election campaign in India, especially in Tamil
Nadu and other southern states was not unexpected. It is well known that
Karunanidhi, Jayalalitha, Vaiko, Ramdoss and the likes have to compete
for the large Tamil vote there, and that they will seek to fan emotions
to grab the votes necessary to be party to any ruling coalition that
emerges, after the final count is announced in May.
The larger parties such as the Congress and BJP are
also not fully immune to such needs, having some of these chauvinist
elements as allies in their campaigns, and possibly in the new power
equations that will emerge.
But there is widespread opinion in India that support
for the LTTE, a banned organization in India, is getting well out of
control, especially by the blood curdling threats by Vaiko, about a
bloodbath in India if Prabhakaran and his Tamils in Sri Lanka are
harmed, and also the threat that such action, in which the parties in
New Delhi are said to be complicit would lead to very real separatist
demands and a such a movement among the Tamils of India.
The perception of the danger faced by India with such
utterances and threats is such that the authorities have been swift to
act against the MDMK General Secretary, Vaiko.
The Chennai City police have registered a sedition
case against Vaiko for his speech warning that India would not remain
one country if the war against the LTTE in Sri Lanka was not stopped.
The Hindu reports that the case has been registered
under 13 (1) b of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act,
2004 (advocating, abetting, advising or inciting the commission of any
unlawful activity) and also under Section 124 -A and Section 505 (1) (b)
of the Indian Penal Code; Section 124-A relates to sedition (attempting
to bring into hatred or contempt or exciting or attempting to excite
disaffection towards the Government established by law in India).
He is also charged under Section 505 (1) (b) that
relates to statements conducing to public mischief (making statement
with intent to cause fear or alarm to the public whereby any person may
be induced to commit an offence against the State or against the public
The Hindu quotes a senior police officer stating that
Mr. Vaiko had not only spoken in support of the banned Liberation Tigers
of Tamil Eelam, he had also eulogised its leader V. Prabhakaran, a
proclaimed offender in India. Besides, he had spoken against national
unity, integrity and sovereignty.
Together with these dangerous statements by Vaiko is
the alert issued by the Indian Home Ministry of a threat to Congress
leader Sonia Gandhi, and her children Rahul and Priyanka, as they
campaign for the coming election.
It will be recalled that her husband, former Prime
Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by the LTTE in May 1991, also
when he was campaigning in Tamil Nadu in the general election campaign.
It must now be clear that the LTTE's terror and its
goal of Thamil Eelam, are threats not confined to Sri Lanka, but clearly
emerging as a major threats to peace and stability wherever there is a
large enough Tamil population, be it East or West, sections of which can
be influenced by the LTTE's separatist ideology and abundance of money.
("On My Watch"- Daily News - April 11, 09)