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Oppose the genocidal war on the people of Tamil Eelam by the Rajapakshe government!

Posted by Admin on June 13, 2009

-Ravindran

After a long gap of eighteen years the struggle in support of Tamil Eelam is engulfing the whole state of Tamilnadu for the last four months, particularly from January 2009 onwards. Showing the ghost of Rajiv Gandhi, the democratic right of the Tamil people to extend their solidarity to their brethren in Tamil Eelam was suppressed with an iron fist by the successive governments at the centre and in state for the last two decades. Now, as the genocidal war against the Eelam Tamils in the name of ‘war against LTTE’ in Srilanka has intensified killing and injuring thousands of people, the protests against such killings and solidarity movements for Tamil Eelam are spreading like a wild fire throughout Tamilnadu. It has become the most important political issue in the state. The stand taken by the political parties, particularly the treacherous support extended by the UPA government led by the Congress to this war; the double-dealing by the DMK, i.e. while condemning the killings of Tamils in Srilanka extending all support to the Congress; the fascist Jayalalitha who openly said that the killing of civilians is inevitable in the ‘war against terrorism’; the howling of CPI (M) that “we should not support the ‘separatist’ slogan of Tamil Eelam’ in the name of killing of Srilankan Tamils, enraged the people of Tamilnadu. All sections of the broad masses- workers, peasants, students, youths, traders, lawyers, women, dalits etc. are participating in this solidarity movement. At present the struggles are spearheaded by the students and the lawyers. The struggles started as human chain, demonstrations and rallies have become more militant and widespread. On 29th January, 2009, Muthukumar, a 26 year youth self immolated exposing the treacherous role of all political parties and appealed to the masses, particularly the students and youth, not to be cheated by the politicians but advance the movement independently. Pointing out the betrayal of DMK, which came to power by reaping the benefits of the anti-Hindi imposition struggle in the 1960s, he warned not to be cheated again this time. Around one lakh people gathered for his funeral rally. Slogans condemning the treachery of central and state governments, betrayal of the DMK and supporting Eelam liberation struggle and LTTE were reverberated throughout the rally. This has aroused the nationalist sentiments in TN and militant struggles broke out through out TN. On 4th February, 2009 a state-wide hartal was called by the newly formed “Srilankan Tamils Protection Movement” evoked spontaneous response from the masses and they successfully observed a Bundh, despite the state government declaring it as illegal. DMK leaders, who attended the funeral rally of Muthukumar, were chased away by the masses and the 2 lakhs rupees solatium granted by the TN government was refused by the father of Muthukumar. So far, four persons died by self-immolation and three schoolchildren consumed poison in TN in support of the Tamil Eelam struggle. Even a Congress activist vexed by that party’s betrayal committed self- immolation for the cause of Tamil Eelam. Along with Srilankan government, the Indian government, Congress and DMK have become targets of the mass fury. Effigies of Rajapakshe, Sonia Gandhi, national flags of Srilanka and India were burnt. Offices of the Srilankan high commission, Airlanka and Bank of Ceylon were ransacked. Chappals were thrown at the central minister and Congress leader Manishankar Iyer. Congress offices were attacked in Madurai and Vellore and banners, flags and cut-outs of Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi were burnt at the Satyamurthi Bhavan, the state headquarters of the Congress party. In front of the UN office in Geneva, Switzerland, a Srilankan Tamil self-immolated in protest against the indifference of the world community, particularly the UN, on the genocide perpetuated by the Srilankan government. Around one lakh people demonstrated in Bangalore condemning the war on Tamils and in support of Tamil Eelam. Demonstrations were held in Canada, Australia, South Africa, and Malaysia and in many cities of Europe to end the genocidal war and negotiate for a political settlement. Throughout the world, the Tamils extended their solidarity with the Eelam Tamils and condemned the Srilankan war of ethnic cleansing. The situation in TN is reminiscent of 1980s, when the masses rose against the genocidal Srilanka government and the IPKF.

Indian expansionism and the struggle of Eelam people.

The decades of struggle for self-determination of the Tamils in Srilanka was transformed into armed rebellion in 1970 and has become the main form of struggle after the ethnic cleansing pogrom carried out against Tamils in Srilanka in 1983. Vexed with the compromising nature of the Tamil leaders, the Elam youth have chosen the path of armed struggle. Many militant groups were formed. As the war intensified, thousands of Eelam Tamils came to TN as refugees. TN provided the natural asylum for the affected Tamils. The people and all political parties in TN extended all types of support for the Eelam liberation struggle. The 1983 anti-Tamil riots created a favorable situation for the Indian expansionists who are waiting for an opportunity to bring the Srilanka under its control. They utilized this and supplied arms to the militants, including LTTE, and set-up training camps in India. Realizing that without the help of Indian government, it will not be able to deal with the Eelam struggle the Jayawardane government in 1987 struck an accord with Indian government under Rajiv Gandhi’s regime. The Indian expansionists forced all militant groups to lay down arms and accept the Indo-Srilanka treaty. The treaty envisages a status of autonomy under the framework of united Srilanka. Naturally, the people and the LTTE who are fighting for self-determination, including the right to secede, shocked by this treachery of the Indian government, rejected the treaty. But, the expansionists sent its army under the name Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF), about 140,000 forces, to the north-eastern parts of Srilanka to implement the treaty at gunpoint. This enraged the people of Tamil Eelam and they fought against the aggressors. The people in India, particularly, in TN who were expecting that the Indian army would help Eelam Tamils to achieve their rights and dignity, were shocked by this betrayal of Rajiv government. Protests against IPKF raged throughout TN demanding its immediate withdrawal from Srilanka. The IPKF thought to finish the ‘job’ within few weeks was forced ‘fight’ for more than two years losing thousands of its forces. In 1989, the Srilankan government joined hands with LTTE and asked the IPKF to leave Srilanka. The ‘protectors’ become unwanted guests and the V.P.Singh government in the face of growing resistance in Srilanka and TN was forced to withdraw IPKF. Nevertheless, the atrocities committed by the aggressors on the civilian population in Eelam left inerasable deep scar in the minds of Eelam people. Not only that, the Indian government in order to weaken the liberation struggle engineered splits in militant groups and pitted one group against the other through its intelligence wing RAW. Given the petty-bourgeois nature of the leadership of the militant groups, many of them easily fall prey to the conspiracy of the Indian expansionists. However, the LTTE not only safeguarded against this schism but also emerged as the only organization waging armed struggle for the Eelam cause.
Any democrat cannot expect the Indian expansionists will help an oppressed nationality to achieve its right of self-determination as India itself a house of prison of nationalities, trampling the national aspirations of many nationalities. The atrocities committed by the Indian armed forces against the people of Kashmir, Northeast, and for that matter anyone who dares to fight militantly against its oppression and exploitation, is no different from the armed forces of Rajapakshe government, to put it mildly. Even today, hundreds of thousands of India’s military and para- military forces are engaged in crushing the genuine aspirations of the Kahmiris and the nationalities in Northeast region. Indian state fears that the liberation of Eelam will stoke the embers of ‘separatism’ in TN and other nationalities in India, which are oppressed under the garb of unity and integrity of India.
After withdrawal of IPKF from Srilanka the Indian government went on extending all types of support to that government to crush the Eelam liberation struggle. It detained many ships of Eelam Tigers and arrested many in the international waters contravening all established international laws. In one such operation LTTE leader Kittu and few others died consuming cyanide. It provides regular intelligence information to the Srilankan navy about the transportation of arms by the Tigers. It supplies sophisticated radar system and military equipments, trains Srilankan soldiers in India, and has been sending its military experts to Srilanka. Hence, it is hand in glove with the Rajapakshe government in waging this genocidal war not only against LTTE but also against the Eelam people to crush their aspiration for a separate homeland. ‘Terrorism’ of LTTE or ‘war on terrorism’ is only a camouflage for this genocide.
At present, it did not condemn the mass killing of civilians by the Srilankan armed forces, on the contrary the Indian National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan praised the butcher of Tamils, the Srilankan army chief Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka as the “world’s greatest army chief”. The Indian government ignored the condemnation and protests by people of TN and the world, and the repeated resolutions passed by the TN assembly to intervene in Srilanka to end the war. The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi did not utter a single word on this issue when thousands of civilians are killed. The Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s did not ask the Srilankan government to stop the war, on the contrary asked them to assure the ‘safety of civilian’ by providing more ‘safe zones’ at a time when the Srilankan armed forces were targeting even the civilian hospitals in the ‘safe zone’ unilaterally declared by the Srilankan government. The Srilankan army intensified the aerial and artillery bombing by shelling over 6000 bombs a day after the visit of foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon. This is nothing but a tacit approval of the genocidal war. Expressing satisfaction with the Indian support in waging the genocidal war, Srilankan President Mahinda Rajapakshe openly said, “in the war against LTTE (i. e. against Tamils) the help and support extended by the Indian government is very much satisfying”. The Indian Foreign Minister is already talking about India’s “readiness to participate in the reconstruction of northern Srilanka” and Rajapakshe’s secretariat responded that both countries would work together on a reconstruction plan for these areas. The Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee under the pretext that other countries such as Pakistan, China and Israel would enter the island, told the parliament that “in our anxiety we should not forget the strategic importance of that island, and it is not only their security, it is closely connected with our security….. Surely, we would not like to have international players in our backyard”. Naturally, the Indian expansionists have high stakes in Srilanka not only for its geo-political significance but also for its economic interests also. The Indian big bourgeoisie controls the plantation industry in the up country, the IT industry, automobile industry, petroleum products in Srilanka. Definitely, it does not want this to be altered by anyone. Therefore, it is extending full support and giving all help to maintain the status quo.
To put it briefly, the role played by the UPA government and the Congress party is that of an active partner in the planning, training, equipping and waging the genocidal war against the people of Tamil Eelam.

The role played by the political parties in TN

The so-called Dravidian parties, the DMK and AIADMK, which become the flag-bearers for the Indian government, were thoroughly exposed. Earlier, DMK chief M. Karunanidhi threatened that all forty MPs from TN will resign if the centre did not act immediately to stop the war, but within few days he did a somersault and expressed satisfaction on the actions taken by the central government. The state government has taken suppressive measures to curb the spread of the solidarity movement. Ordering the closure of colleges in order to prevent the students from participating in the struggles, arresting the leaders and activists under NSA and anti-Goonda act, denying permission even for meetings and rallies, Mr.Krunanidhi formed along with Congress and some other parties a parallel organization “Srilankan Tamils Welfare and Rights Movement” and held public meetings and rallies to ‘explain’ the stand taken by his party and the ‘ actions’ by the state and central governments in a desperate bid to divide and weaken the people’s movement. Toeing the Congress line, the DMK general secretary K. Anbazhagan declared in the TN assembly that “the Srilankan President Rajapakshe has agreed not to bomb the safety zones (where the Tamilians should gather). So, there is room for an assessment that Prabanab Mukherjee had duly taken up the issue with Colombo that the Tamil civilians should not be harmed. This is what this government wants to express in this house”. This was said at a time when the civilian hospital and the so-called safety zones were being bombed and hundreds of children, women and old people were killed. All these actions by the self-proclaimed leader of the Tamil race M. Karunanidhi thoroughly exposed that he will commit every kind of tricks and frauds in order to cling to power.
The brahminical fascist Jayalalitha openly supported the war on the Eelam Tamils by saying “it is inevitable in a war (against ‘terror’) that innocent people would die”. Sensing the adverse reactions from the masses she immediately retracted and demanded the Tigers should lay down arms and surrender to facilitate the cease-fire.
The MDMK, PMK, DPI, and the CPI formed an alliance in their bid to utilize the people’s wrath against the ruling party. The PMK, while sharing power at the centre, is accusing the DMK for not pressurizing the UPA government by withdrawing its MPs. MDMK chief Vaiko spitting fire against DMK and the central government did not utter even a single word on Jayalalitha’s open approval of the genocidal war. The CPI approaches this issue as a humanitarian crisis instead of the liberation struggle. It is not even ready to agree that Eelam as a separate nationality. DPI, a partner in the DMK alliance in the state, ‘appeals’ to Karunanidhi to lead the solidarity movement. These parties, on the one hand are trying hard to contain the struggle from taking more militant form and on the other trying to encash the people’s sentiments into their electoral gain. Their vacillation and compromising nature was exposed during the state bundh on 4th February, when the declared that that they will not ‘compel’ anyone to observe it. Defying their vacillation, the masses are taking forward the struggle in more resolute manner. Now, efforts are being made to mobilize the struggling masses under a broad platform consisting of the revolutionary, nationalist and other democratic forces.
The solidarity movement in support of Eelam Tamils has the seeds of nationalist aspiration of Tamils. Already questions have risen why the Tamils should participate in the parliament if it is not able to pressurize the central government to intervene to end the war. Some nationalist organizations have given the boycott call for the forthcoming Loksabha elections. The masses are generally feeling that the Indian government betrayed the Tamils by actively supporting the genocidal war. Day by day the people, particularly the youth, are feeling that the Indian government is insulting the people of TN and wanted to teach lesson for these betrayers. The news reports on the conditions of the people in the Elam, pouring everyday is strengthens this feeling. The condition of the people in the areas controlled by the Srilankan government is virtually transformed into concentration camps putting the Nazis into shame. Graphic exposure in the electronic and print media on the condition of the people in these camps, such as forced abortion of the pregnant Tamil women, mutilated bodies of the children and the aged in bombings, systematic abduction of males from the camps, rape and molestation of women by the Srilankan army have created a sense of hatred not only against the Srilankan army but also against the Indian government. The state and the central government are very much afraid of this tendency and are making all efforts to curb this movement from further growth. On the one hand the government adopts tough measures to contain the militant form of struggles and on the other organizes passive form of struggle without even condemning the atrocities committed by the Srilankan government. But the present economic crisis and the anti-people policies of the central and state governments are bound to intensify all types of contradictions. With a sense of betrayal and insult and losing even the nominal faith they had about the bourgeois parties, the people are looking for an alternative. It is the task of the revolutionaries, nationalists and the democratic forces to provide a viable alternative for the masses. There is also a need for the movement to involve the workers and peasants more actively. The present situation provides a very good opportunity for that.

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