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Diaspora – fully owned subsidiary of the LTTE?

 

Those last days of May 2009 in the Wanni must have brought the greatest exposure of a prolonged nature to this little island in its entire post-independence history – with the exception of the Tsunami

Diaspora – fully owned subsidiary of the LTTE?

 Those last days of May 2009 in the Wanni must have brought the greatest exposure of a prolonged nature to this little island in its entire post-independence history – with the exception of the Tsunami. The majors of international electronic media of the day pitched camp for weeks here. President Rajapakse was contacted on the phone by virtually every major political leader in the world – India, UK, EU, Japan as well the USA – as far as we know. The Foreign Ministers of the UK and France were personally here. UNSG Ban Ki Moon, his chief lieutenants were all on the phone several hours of the day and night. Sri Lanka was gaining the attention of the world – not necessarily for all the good reasons. The President stood firm and did not yield to the combined pressure. The nation applauded him – and that included many Tamils too. But this latter fact was to be played down. The shrewd President figured to stand firm will ensure him the surest guarantees for his election – and perhaps for those coming after him carrying his name. As events were to prove later both in the Presidential and General Election, he was catapulted to victory – if you are ready to forget the legality and other allied issues momentarily. 

The President assured the country, India – a keen listener - and the world the LTTE is finished, its feared leader and the entire leadership is no more. He got his 2nd in command the garrulous Prime Minister of the time to go round the country and share this personally with the people. The man dutifully carried this out barking in his characteristic style – often using unspeakable language. That this man has now donned the clothes of Fonseka No.2 is a different matter although he might realize at his age and the influence he commands in the Party and the country he is what Lyndon Johnson was to describe Ferdinand Marcos of the Phillipines where there was mention of Condoms. 
 
But is the end of VP and his band of “merry men” the end of the story for the South. How so? After all, there are future elections to be won for the Leader, his family and for the next generation. You need “an enemy” for that to dupe the easily gullible Southern electorate. True they are inebriated with those weeks of celebrations of victory against the vile Dravidian “enemies” But they will wake from their stupor and find the table at home is virtually empty. Chooty Putha and rattarang duwa are crying. The wife has declared the inevitable War of the Kitchen and demands “ko miniyo pang, pol, biththara, miris, maalu, kukul mus, elawalu…” The noisy and ubiquitous JVP, the paralysed and rudderless UNP are all getting into stride for January 26. 
 
The wisemen at Temple Trees will have to put their thinking caps and “invent” an enemy now that the convenient “LTTE/Dhemala Yakku” are no longer a mass-marketable product to dupe the modayas with. The oncoming Provincial Elections have to be won and the tide of dissatisfaction contained. Beliatta, Tangalle, Matara, Mahawa, Maharagama is bad news already and shakes the regime’s complacency. The creative Mangala Samaraweera is a formidable opponent – although he appears to lack a Party base. Sajith-Ranil, Mangala and the JVP coming together is a nightmare. India is breathing down the neck “for not doing enough” and the lackluster Bank Ki Moon will have to think of his own re-election. BKM is under continuous attack for “the absence of appropriate action against HR and War Crime excesses of the SLA-GoSL” 
 
What of the nearly million Tamil diaspora – and more particularly in Canada, the UK and the EU where they are mostly concentrated? Are they all – or even a fair part of them – card-carrying and rabid anti-Sinhala LTTE terrorists as many Sinhalese at home are made carefully orchestrated to believe. Nothing is further from the truth. Most of them came out over a quarter century ago when they were themselves in their 20s. They are now in their late 40s and 50s with grown-up College going children. This is their priority. Whereas the first generation Lankan emigrant may have been a blue-collar worker the generations to follow have set their eyes set on the professions. Many of them have made it to the middle class levels already. Almost everyone of them want their children to go to the top universities – that are always open unlike at home. What happens back home only catches their attention if there is a shocking upheaval in the North-East – as during May 2009 – when they come under any flag that is around to satisfy themselves “they did their bit” - often nothing more. The hated LTTE collectors and extortionists have all gone underground – some in Police hands following information to the Police authorities of the area by those in the diaspora itself. They feel relieved that knock on the door or that threatening phone call is now a thing of the past – thanks to President Rajapakse. They will come in their hundreds of thousands on vacation if the government creates the enabling conditions. Today’s Gestapo-style environment from the airport and on the roads is a disgrace and will not entice them. They know exactly what is happening at home on a 24 x 7 basis and they know the situation is dire there – more in the North today where a reign of terror has been unleashed on Tamil civilians. Unsurprisingly, some Tamils who go there stay with Sinhala friends of many years. Similarly many Sinhalese are hosted in Tamil homes in the diaspora. 
 
GGP and fifty-fifty; Language Parity; the SRI number plates on vehicles; Federalism, District Councils; Vaddukottai Resolution; Separate State: Prabakaran and the LTTE were all good platforms to win Southern Votes. Keeping the bogey of a “Tamil Enemy” to threaten the Sinhala psyche is a good investment still. The Oxford debacle has brought forth THE one – and now let’s work on it appears to be the message of the think-tanks around the regime. Prabakaran and LTTE is gone but there is the Diasporawa – the fully-owned subsidiary of the LTTE – continues to threaten the Sinhala State and Race is the message. The Sinhala people will buy that – lock, stock and barrel now that from the bottom of their heart they are taught to hate anything Tamil. The post-1956 period has seen to that. To the soldier in the SLA born 20 years ago serving in the North East Tamils are a “legitimate target” Bell-Pottinger will send more inflated Invoices – but the work has to be done. The taxidermists have failed to make something of KP. So it has to be the diaspora. Keep mentioning the word 24 x 7 and 60x60 so that it penetrates the Sinhala skull and stays there . That is the way to go. We can do it again – again and again is the obvious message. 
 
(LG)
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