by Dr.Vickramabahu Karunaratne
In a recent interview MP Suresh Premachandran said, “That is why we are talking of a political solution within a united Sri Lanka, a federal system. It is because the diaspora has no faith in the government that they speak of a separate state. If the government can’t hold a serious discussion on a solution people will feel helpless. In this scenario the separate state cry will continue especially internationally, because the inherent feeling of the people will be there, if there is no genuine response from the government.” He rejected the government claim that if the Tamil people enjoy economic prosperity denied to the NE provinces due to LTTE’s activities, then there is no cause for these demands.
Dr.Vickramabahu Karunaratne at a rally protesting attacks on media in Sri Lanka: pic VIKALPASL
Suresh argued, “The Tamil struggle started with Chelvanayakam, and even by 1977 this was a given mandate. It was the situation after, which led to the military struggle. This is not a problem of the LTTE. It was only because of the refusal by the successive governments to give these demands that led it there. The fact remains that if these are not met today, this situation will arise again in ten years. You can suppress it for some time but not continue without a solution. This will invariably become a problem for the international community as well, if there is no solution soon."
It is clear that all Tamils, including those who lick the boots of the government, aspire for autonomy to the Tamil home land in the NE. LTTE used the method of terror to achieve this freedom. But even those who crawl before the dictatorial regime have the same political aspiration. Devastation and the genocide attacks have not changed the liberation dream of the Tamil masses. In spite of what the leaders do or say, they have to answers to what the people wish to have.
The latter do not want to be a subjugated nation, prosperous or otherwise. Trouble is those who sell their tradition, history and natural resources, to the multi national corporation system and live in luxury with robber barons cannot understand this remorseless feeling of the Tamil people. Sinhala leaders that ruled this country up to now were not concerned about the independence of Lanka. In fact they sold the country with their conscience, to the lords of global capital. Recently, the latter included the Delhi Arya Brahmins. The purpose of this sellout was to get support for the repression of Tamil people. This so called liberation war project has made Lanka a depressing miserable country living under the rule of global masters. Latter’s agenda is pushed down the throat of Mahinda under the name of development. While the so called development is going on, we are made poor, hungry and miserable. Of course the agents and brokers of the regime are all happy and floating around in flush limousines wasting millions of dollars.
The greatest burden placed on the masses, both Sinhala and Tamil, is the continuation of the emergency. Emergency was extended by giving a false picture of LTTE activity. This time it was very clear. What PM Jayaratne stated about LTTE activity was denied by the Indian government with a curt note. Not even Indian masters could stomach the lies spread by the puppet government. Emergency is the foundation of the military government in the north and the detention of Tamil suspects. In the south it is the base for state terror against, oppositional politicians, media men and trade unions.
Specially, the state sector trade unions are unable to take trade union actions as the government is capable of using emergency regulations to make the relevant services compulsory. In fact, Emergency powers can be used against any trade union activity, and the PTA can be used to detain trade union leaders. In 1980 Alavi, Vasu and myself were detained as leaders of the general strike. We were kept at Magazine prison for a long period, though subsequently, the high court dismissed the charges of both, conspiracy and criminal actions against the government. Hence it is an issue on which all should get together to press the government.
All opposition forces that stand for democracy must get together to press to remove the emergency. Last week in the social democratic assembly I proposed that we lobby the main opposition represented within the parliament, the UNP, JVP and the TNA, to request them to get together and mobilize all votes in the parliament to oppose the next extension of the emergency.
There were around 50 activists from different organizations present in the social democratic assembly, including Lakthilaka, Abu Yusuf, SG Punchihewa, Kelly Senanayaka, Thiru and other progressive leaders. There was a general agreement to meet the parliamentary opposition and press them to unite in voting against the emergency.