Around the world, the threat of terrorism has become common place. Of course, some of these threats substantiate into nothing more than mere gimmicks a few days later. It seems that the West is exaggerating “Islamic” terrorism to curb it's infringement of individual freedom. When it comes to terrorism the West adopt a lucid discriminatory policy. This was and is synonymous with the LTTE. Amidst such strong sentiments, the notorious LTTE members and sympathizers living in the West are revalidating their claim for nationhood in a democratic fashion.
Whilst a former LTTE legal eagle V.Rudrakumar has been appointed as the premier of the so-called imaginary land of Tamil Eelam in the USA, a statue has been erected for Tamil Chelvan in France on the third anniversary of his death. During the last peace talks (2002-2006) France accommodated the LTTE delegation headed by S. Tamil Chelvan and facilitated the on-going negotiation process between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE.
The LTTE cadres who enjoyed freedom of expression in France as Eelanadu journalists namely; Capton Gajan (Kandiah Kajendran) and Lieutenant Colonel Nathan, were gunned down by unknown assassins on the 26th October 1996 in Paris.They were portrayed as Tamil national heroes and given an honourable burial in Paris with tombstones engraved with their military ranks, portraits and the emblem of the LTTE. The LTTE’ emblem is displayed not only as a roaring tiger but also with two crossing guns. A few years after the killing of Sabalingam by the LTTE, their own French cadres became targets of terror.
During Tamil Chelvan’s visit to France, he and his entourage were given a warm welcome by the LTTE and their French supporters. Tamil Chelvan and Karuna visited the tombstones of former LTTE journalists; Gajan and Nathan and paid respects to their “heroes”. Those were the days where the LTTE enjoyed freedom of expression both vocally and through the use of their guns (Sabalingam). Since the assassination of the Foreign Minister Kadirkaamar by the LTTE, things have changed for the worst. Furthermore, European Union was the last block of countries that proscribed the LTTE as foreign terrorists.
In any event, the ceremonial opening of the statue of Tamil Chelvan within the precincts of Municipal Council of La Courneuve by a French Municipal Member is shocking and despicable as it sets a precedent for other European countries where the LTTE leaders once visited and enjoyed freedom. The erection of Tamil Chelvan’s statue in France has resounded sentiment among Pro-LTTE media that they should campaign for the building of a mausoleum in European Countries in honour of their terror leaders and “martyrs” as they cannot celebrate the deaths of their leaders at the places where they died, perished or were buried. However, Prabakaran “immortalization” seems to be an exception to such ostentatious displays of remembrance.
As usual the French approval of the statue and the participation of a French politician in the ceremony of remembrance give rise to the question; whether the French government is undermining the Sri Lankan Government?
Note: I also attach my previous article on Tamil Chelvan which was published in the Sri Lanka Guardian and Thenee.com
Tamilchelvan & the Eastern Muslims – A Reminiscence
Photo: Tamilchelvan with Muslim Community leaders at Kokkadicholai, Batticaloa.
In the meeting with the Muslim community leaders, Tamilchelvan, admitted the mistakes of the LTTE and invited the Muslims to join hands with them. He said: “We made mistakes. No one can deny it. The Tsunami has shown us how the Sinhala government actually discriminates against us. Sinhala leaders will never treat us as equals. They achieved their aims in our homeland by dividing us. We cannot let them always divide and rule the Tamil speaking people. We should resolve to achieve our common goal together”
“The Evil that men do lives after them, The good is oft interred with their bones”Julius Caesar (III.ii.77)
(Novmebr,19, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Tamilchelvan was not very much known to the majority of the Eastern Muslims until he had officially visited to Batticaloa in February 2005 , for the funeral of the slain LTTE Batticaloa leader, Kousalyan. Tamilchelvan was able visit with his retinue all over the Eastern Districts. It was a multi-purpose visit that involved in meeting with the Muslim Civil leaders and reinforcing the LTTE control in the East. Sheer expectation of normalcy was on the top of the agenda for the Muslims of the East as they had suffered in the hands of the LTTE militia for decades. On the other hand the Northern Muslims were losing hope of resettlement in the North when the SHIRAN committee became an impasse. In the backdrop of this development Tamil Chelvan visited Batticaloa and met the Muslim Religious leaders on the 14th of February 2005, some two and a half years ago before his demise. Mr. Abdul Jawath, brother of the late Mr. Ahamed Lebbe (Former chairman of Kattankudy Town Council) led the team of the prominent Muslims of the Eastern Province in their meeting with Tamil Chelvan and other LTTE leaders at Kokkaddicholai which is now under Army control. Mr. A. Jawath, attorney-at-law, the Vice President of the Federation of the mosques and Muslim institutions acclaimed this meeting as a means of restoration of Tamil-Muslim ancestral affinity and solidarity.
Until the victorious capture of the East, the perception that the LTTE were the sole representative of the Tamils was deep rooted in the hearts of the Muslim political and community leaders. This perception emanated from their long ingrained fear psychosis created by the advent of Tamil militia of different hues. Nevertheless, Mr.Ashroff was on record to condemn the LTTE without reservation whenever he had the opportunity. When Mr. Ashroff was interviewed by the South Indian Tamil magazine “Vidiyal Velli” ( The Morning Star) just about two weeks before his death he also praised Allah for the achievement of the fact that the LTTE had changed their stance and published on the Internet that the Tamil Eelam was not only for Tamils but also for the Muslims.
Hakeem and the LTTE
Mr. Hakeem had developed a soft contact with Yogaratnam Yogi when he attended the All Party Conference in 1989 in Colombo on behalf of the SLMC during the honeymoon days between Prbakaran and Premadasa. As for Hakeem this was just a point of contact with the LTTE at some ineffective level. Nevertheless, when Segu Dawood Basheer, joined the SLMC he was considered to be useful for his experience with the EROS, a sister organisation of the LTTE. He had a very long relationship with V. Balakunaran and always followed him as his role model in politics. It is believed that he was instrumental in arranging Hakeem to meet Prabakaran, let alone Eric Solheim. Basheer always instilled in the minds of the Muslims that they would have to leave their habitations with shopping bags if they did not vote for the EROS when he was first contested as an EROS candidate in the 1989 General Elections in the Batticaloa District.
This fear psychosis is always evident when Hakeem speaks of the LTTE. Although he clandestinely alleged that it was the LTTE that killed his leader he publicly remained reticent and pursued his demand for an independent commission to investigate his leader’s death. He never forgets to use his name for the sake of reassuring his position as the lifetime leader of the SLMC, especially in the East. Since he met Prabakaran he became more attracted to his kind of “politics”. He also preferred to call himself as a national Muslim leader and call those who left him as “Traitors”.
Hakeem recently also made a comment in a meeting in Maruthamunai that there are people in and out of the parliament, who call him a broker of the LTTE and that he would give the LTTE a pat on the back when they do well and condemn them when they do wrong. I do not know whether Hakeem is aware of any good that the LTTE have done to the Muslims. If so he should openly say at least one of such good deeds. As for the Muslims the LTTE have never done any good and they will always be seen as the oppressors and aggressors.
Hakeem bragged in parliament that he had spoken to Tamil Chelvan on the phone several times but when there was a dispute about third party representation, and complaints about various breaches of Hakeem-Praba agreement, Tamil Chelvan categorically remarked that the pact was torn away and no longer existed. Hakeem seems complacent when it comes to scratching the back of the tigers but fails to pin them by the tail!
In the light of Hakeem’s condolence, I can see an analogy of the meeting that took place between Tamil Chelvan and the Muslims Civil Society in the East in 2005.This reminiscence of events points out that the Muslims were immature in their political approach, as a result, The Muslims tended to place the cart before the horse and demobilise the community. Due to lack of far sighted political strategy and an inconsistent stance the Muslims are always used as curry leaves or offering themselves being used as such. When Mr. M.I Abdullah President of the Federation Mosques in Kalkudah electorate, met Tamil Chelvan, he was certain about the establishment of Tamil Eelam. He said “There is no doubt that Thamil Eelam would be established one day. But it has to be won on the basis of Muslim Tamil unity”,
Muslims condolence to Tamilchelvan
It was quite interesting that a man from Kuwait joined by telephone in the Radio Condolence programme of IBC, a Pro LTTE radio based in London. He introduced himself as “ Risvi” from Amparai District and expressed his condolence to Tamil Chelvan. Although he claimed himself a Muslim from Amparai District,he could not pronounce the name “Risvy” properly like Muslims and pronounced his name as Ridjvi” He ended his condolance with the Tiger motto that “Tigers Thirst is Tameeala Home land “. This hypocrisy is very common among many faceless LTTE supporters.
Muslims’ magnanimity towards the LTTE
In the meeting with the Muslim community leaders, Tamil Chelvan, admitted the mistakes of the LTTE and invited the Muslims to join hands with them. He said: “We made mistakes. No one can deny it. The Tsunami has shown us how the Sinhala government actually discriminates against us. Sinhala leaders will never treat us as equals. They achieved their aims in our homeland by dividing us. We cannot let them always divide and rule the Tamil speaking people. We should resolve to achieve our common goal together”.
Although the delegates comprised of the community leaders from the prominent Muslim towns of the East and many of them had actively highlighted the LTTE killings and other human rights breaches on Muslims, no one among the delegates including the leader, Mr. A. Jawath who comes from Kattankudy where Muslims were killed dared to remark, “Thamby , after Angariga Dharmapala and his henchmen in 1915, no Sinhalese leaders expelled or killed or ordered the killing of Muslims like the leaders of the LTTE. They appear to have forgiven the perpetrators of the crime and showed a great deal of magnanimity.
In the meeting with the Muslim delegates Thamil Chelvan also said: “I assure you that there will be continuity in our policy towards Muslims even if we get killed. Our lives are uncertain. We should build our relationship on a strong foundation in order to overcome this problem”. Yes, just one year after his assurance Mutur was rounded up by the LTTE and some hundreds of Muslim youths were killed and the entire village was evacuated. If not for the Sri Lankan government forces and their allies the Muslims would have been sheltered in another “Puttalam”. He is no more but his worthless words.
All these political blunders of the Muslim politicians may be forgotten and forgiven or interpreted as a political gimmick but what about the remarks of the president of the Eastern Province, Jamiyathul Ulama, who went beyond his faith to praise Tamil Chelvan and his men by quoting from the Quran that Truth, Righteousness and Justice ultimately wins and therefore the Tamil Freedom struggle based on those three cardinal principles, would eventually win.
The Quran also enjoins the Muslims to wage war against those who expelled them from their lands and prevented them from worshipping God. The writer does not beat war drums against the tigers but does not wish to condone the hypocrisy. In the name of the SLMC, Does Hakeem play the role of a traitor when he condones and expresses condolence to the killers of the Muslims of the East? Let history not fail to record his hypocrisy.